Warship INS Betwa that tipped over in Mumbai yard back on even keel
INS Betwa, a Brahmaputra-class guided missile frigate, slipped on the dock blocks during a refit on December 5, with many fearing that the 3,850-tonne frigate would be written off.india Updated: Feb 22, 2017 22:52 IST
An Indian warship that tipped over at a Mumbai dockyard last December has been salvaged to its upright position at a cost of Rs 20 crore. The freak accident had left two sailors dead and 14 injured.
INS Betwa, a Brahmaputra-class guided missile frigate, slipped on the dock blocks during a refit on December 5, with many fearing that the 3,850-tonne frigate would be written off.
Betwa is on an even keel now, navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma said.
The warship’s refit would progress as planned and it would be battle ready by April 2018.
Betwa, commissioned in 2004, was in the midst of a scheduled two-year refit when the accident occurred.
Two days after the frigate overturned at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said “miscalculation of balance” may have been a reason why the ship keeled over.
He said a warship’s balance could get disturbed during a refit as a lot of machinery and fixtures were removed.
The navy sought the help of foreign experts to salvage the warship as it does not have a crane big enough to lift a ship of Betwa’s size.
The contract was awarded to the Indian arm of US-based Resolve Marine Group to bring the ship to level position, paving the way for its refit to continue at Duncan/Hughes dock in Mumbai. The group specialises in salvage and emergency response.
A board of inquiry to ascertain what went wrong has been completed and is being examined by the Mumbai-based Western Naval Command. The investigation was headed by Rear Admiral Deepak Bali, flag officer offshore defence advisory group.
The 126-metre vessel tipped over while it was being undocked and its mast hit the ground.
Prior to this, Betwa ran aground in January 2014 and collided with an unidentified object that led to a crack in its sonar system.