Two days after the INS Betwa, a guided missile frigate of the Indian Navy, tipped over while it was being undocked in the naval dockyard, some companies have shown interest in carrying out salvage operations.
Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma said, “A few companies have approached the Indian Navy and their proposals are being studied.” Meanwhile, naval divers are carrying out diving operations to ascertain the position of the dock blocks before the ship is straightened, he added .
Soon after the incident, navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba visited the site to take stock of the damage. The accident killed two personnel and injured 14 others.
A board of inquiry was constituted to assess the damage. The Navy hopes to salvage the ship commissioned in 2004.
Sources in the Navy said that there seemed to be a procedural error which caused the ship to slip. To undock the ship, water is allowed into the dry dock, making the front end of the ship float up first. The rear end comes later. But if the rear floats first, the possibility of the ship undocking in an undesirable fashion may rise.
More than 100 personnel, including officers and sailors, were inside the vessel when it undocked. Soon after the incident, employees that included technical experts of the dockyard were moved towards it. The technical team were constantly in touch with people inside the vessel to get their locations, said a Navy official who did not wish to be named. “We cut the outer portion of the ship to get inside. We cut four or five more areas after we located where the people were trapped and moved them to safety within a few hours.”
Read more: INS Betwa slips at Naval dockyard