The Indian Navy on Wednesday will assess the nature and extent of damage to the missile frigate INS Betwa after it tipped over at Mumbai dockyard on Monday. Indian Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma said, “Salvers have come in, some from abroad, to salvage the ship.”
The initial assessment will take about two days, reported The Times of India. Although the extent of the damage has not been ascertained yet, about 25% of the frigate, including the engine, is flooded, reported NDTV. Besides, the mast of the ship was snipped and the outer surface has suffered major damage. Officials said that it may take around two years to repair the ship and make it battle-ready again, which will cost the Navy a few crores.
Apart from repairing the ship, the Navy is also faced with the daunting task of moving INS Betwa, which is floating in the dry dock. Another warship, INS Pralay, is standing next to it and cannot be moved from its location until INS Betwa is set afloat, reported NDTV. Although Navy officials told the news channel that they are flooding the dry dock so that INS Betwa can be floated out of the dock, the Navy’s spokesperson Commander Rahul Sinha told The Times of India that authorities are in a fix. “The dock can’t now be deflooded as it could further damage the hull of the ship. Also, the dock can’t be flooded because any further water ingress through the damaged part will create further problems,” he told the daily.
The indigenous 3,850-tonne ship had tipped over while being returned to water from a refit on Monday. Two sailors died and 14 other sustained injuries. The Indian Navy said the incident took place because of a technical snag, and ordered an inquiry.
INS Betwa, which cost around Rs 600 crore to build, was commissioned in 2006 and is the third Indian Navy vessel to have met with an accident while docked. In January, 2011, INS Vindhyagiri sank after a collision, while in August, 2013, 18 sailors were killed after submarine INS Sindhurakshak had a series of explosions.