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Global tender for salvaging Sindhurakshak likely soon

Friday, 20 September 2013 | PNS | New Delhi

The Navy will soon float a global tender for salvaging submarine Sindhurakshak, which sank at Mumbai port on August 13 killing all crew on board.The ill-fated submarine is now resting on the bottom of the sea at a depth of seven metres and the naval divers are yet to locate the bodies of seven crew members.

The Defence Ministry has fast tracked the process for inviting tenders from salvers, officials said on Thursday, adding there are only seven or eight salvage companies in the world who have the required expertise to bring out a ship. 

Refraining from giving a time line for completing the salvage operation given the complexities involved in such processes, officials said all the armament on the submarine will be removed as a safety measure and the Board of Inquiry will then carry out extensive probe to ascertain the cause of mishap.

The Board of Inquiry will only be able to give a conclusive report after examining every section of the submarine, officials said. The 3,000-tonne submarine suffered major explosions before going down and nearly 2,000 tonnes of water has now entered the boat thereby making it difficult for the divers to traverse through the wreckage.

The naval divers, so far, have logged more than 1,500 hours of diving in the submarine and have to swim through turbid waters with visibility of not more than three to four feet, officials said. Despite these difficulties, they managed to bring out 11 bodies but were yet to locate seven others, including three officers, sources said all the 18 crew members were declared operational casualties.

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