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Navy Chief visits naval dockyard after INS Betwa mishap; orders probe

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Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Tuesday visited the naval dockyard where INS Betwa tipped over while undocking and also met the injured personnel at the naval hospital, INHS Asvini. The Navy said the Brahmaputra-class guided missile frigate will be made operational again.

Despite the massive damage to the INS Betwa which was commissioned in 2006, the Navy is confident that the ship will be set upright though the process of repairing and making her battle-ready could take up to two years.

The mast of the ship which contains crucial sensors was shorn off the vessel yesterday and major damage is expected on its surface which is resting on its side. In a statement, the spokesperson of the Indian Navy, Captain DK Sharma has said, “Salvers have come in, some from abroad to salvage the ship.”

Specialists are likely to reach Mumbai on Wednesday for conducting an initial assessment of the damage in the next two days, Navy`s spokesperson Captain DK Sharma said.

“The Navy will upright the ship and make her operational in the shortest possible time,” he said.

INS Betwa, undergoing a refit at the dry dock here, slipped and toppled over on her side, killing two sailors and injuring 14 naval personnel.

Admiral Lanba was briefed about the accident on Monday and the situation at the dockyard, Captain Sharma said.

A dry dock is a narrow basin or vessel that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated in, then drained to allow that load to come to rest on a dry platform. Dry docks are used for the construction, maintenance, and repair of ships and boats etc.

Undocking a ship involves its refloating.

The frigate had slipped from her dock blocks and keeled over. Officials initially said it appeared that the dock mechanism had failed.

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