Visakhapatnam: In another blow to the Indian Navy, a Torpedo Recovery Vessel sunk off the Visakhapatnam coast on Thursday evening.
The incident happened at around 8:00 pm during a naval exercise and claimed the life of one sailor.
Around 23 personnel were rescued while four are still missing. A search and rescue operation is underway to trace the missing.
The Navy has ordered a Board of Inquiry into the incident. Also, Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan has cut short his visit to Seychelles and is coming back in view of the incident.
“The vessel was on a routine mission to recover (dummy) torpedoes fired by fleet ships during a routine exercise, when it experienced flooding in one of its compartments,” the Navy said in a statement issued in Delhi.
“One sailor has lost his life during the rescue operation and four personnel are reported missing. 23 personnel have been rescued safely by the Search and Rescue (SAR) ships dispatched to the area,” Navy added.
“The incident happened within 10-15 kms off Vizag post,” a Navy spokesperson said in Visakhapatnam.
The Torpedo Recovery Vessel (TRV) is an auxiliary vessel which is used to recover practice torpedoes fired by fleet ships and submarines.
The ship, which is 23 meters long and 6.5 meters at the beam, was built by Goa Shipyard in 1983 and has served the Indian Navy for the last 31 years.
The accident is one of the many that the Navy has witnessed over the last year.
Admiral Dhowan took over as the Chief of the Naval Staff on April 17 this year, after his predecessor DK Joshi quit following a series of accidents.
Admiral Joshi’s resignation came immediately after a fire on the INS Sindhuratna, which left two sailors dead.
On October 31, INS Kora suffered minor damage after it was scraped by a merchant vessel near Visakhapatnam.
(With PTI inputs)