The navy is unsure if it wants to retrieve the torpedo recovery vessel (TRV) that sank off Visakhapatnam on Thursday night, a mishap in which one sailor was killed and four naval personnel are still unaccounted for. The navy’s massive search effort, involving nine warships and four types of aircraft, has so far yielded no result.
One video-camera and two life jackets belonging to the TRV were recovered from the search area on Friday, a spokesperson said on Saturday. The search has now been extended to an area 80 nautical miles (148 km) south and south-west of Visakhapatnam, factoring in the prevailing drift and sea currents.
A senior navy officer said the cost of salvaging the vessel would be far more than the cost of the 31-year-old TRV, lying on the seabed at a depth of more than 350 metre. “We have to see if retrieving the vessel makes any sense. Right now, our priority is to locate the missing men,” he said. There’s faint hope for their survival, but the navy is not giving up.
The TRV went down due to suspected ingress of sea-water into the engine room and aft steering compartment as one of the seals gave way.