Visakhapatnam naval accident: No leads on four missing sailors

 No survivors have been found after the accident involving a torpedo recovery vessel of the Indian navy which left one dead and four missing, navy sources said Saturday.

New Delhi: No survivors have been found after the accident involving a torpedo recovery vessel of the Indian navy which left one dead and four missing, navy sources said Saturday.

The four missing persons include an officer. The vessel sank off the Visakhapatnam coast Thursday evening.

"A full scale search and rescue operation is in progress by the Indian Navy for the four personnel reported missing in a mishap involving a torpedo recovery vessel (TRV A-72) of Indian Navy," a Navy official said.

Day and night search operations are on, involving nine ships of the eastern fleet and aircraft including Boeing P8I, Dorniers, Sea King 42C and Chetak helicopters, the official said

Though no missing personnel were found till Saturday afternoon, one handycam (video-camera) and two life jackets of the vessel were recovered Friday.

A board of inquiry headed by a captain has been constituted to investigate the circumstances leading to the accident.

The deceased sailor was identified as James Jacob.

As per the initial reports, the probable reason for the sinking of the vessel seems to be ingress of sea water (flooding) in the engine room and aft steering compartment of the vessel.

Sources said the likely cause was "material failure".

The vessel, used to recover practice torpedoes fired by fleet ships and submarines, was built by Goa Shipyard Limited in 1983.

The navy has witnessed a series of accidents over the past year. Earlier this year, then navy chief Admiral D.K. Joshi resigned taking moral responsibility for "the accidents and incidents".

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