Navy families enjoy a day on the sea

John L. Paul

KOCHI: Over one thousand four hundred family members of Navy personnel of the Southern Naval Command, Kochi, had a day-out at sea on Monday. They were taken over 32 km into the sea in 11 ships. It was a rare moment in which the family members got to see the daily grind of Navy personnel on board the ships. The children were the most jubilant lot, asking a whole lot of questions to the elders about the sea, ships and equipments. Along with the family members were a group of media persons and some police officers. Leading the flotilla of ships was INS Tir which is attached to the training squadron. The other ships were INS Tharangini, the Indian Navy’s sole sailing ship; INS Sujatha and INS Sharda offshore patrol vessels; INS Bangaram fast-attack craft; INS Sarvekshak; INS Jamuna and INS Sutlej, hydrography vessels; INS Krishna; INS Nireekashak, diving tender and Sagar Dhwani, research ship of the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

As the ships sailed past the islands of Kochi and prominent land marks, one could see the current-flow patterns of the sea and the lining formed by seaweeds. Beyond that were the huge merchant ships advancing into Kochi harbour. Just off the shipping channel one could see the topmost portion of Maria, the merchant ship that sank a few months ago off the coast of Kochi.

There was a search-and-rescue demonstration involving three Chetak helicopters. Also demonstrated was Station Keeping By Distance Line, in which a guide ship maintains steady course and speed and a second ship positions herself on the left side at a separation of around 30 meters. This manoeuvre is used by ships to transfer men, materials and fuel at sea.

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