India, US navy exercise to begin WednesdayJanuary 4th, 2011 - 8:09 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 4 (IANS) Indian and US navy divers will learn salvage techniques from each other during an eight-day joint exercise beginning Wednesday in the Andaman Sea off Port Blair.The Indian Navy’s survey ship INS Nireekshak, and USS Safeguard, a specialised salvage vessel, would be participating in the Jan 5-12 exercise, a navy spokesperson said here Tuesday.
The drill, named SALVEX, is aimed at “strengthening capability in niche techniques associated with diving and salvage”, the spokesperson said.
During the exercise, various specialist salvage techniques will be jointly practised by divers of the two navies.
Among the notable salvage techniques to be demonstrated are operation of underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and side scan sonasrs launched from the USS Safeguard and demonstration of hot tap equipment - used for removing fuel from the tanks of sunken vessels.
During SALVEX, the divers will also hone their salvage skills on a ‘mud monster’, a pontoon specially built and sunk to practise salvage and diving exercises.
The first SALVEX was conducted in 2005 and the series of exercises have been conducted annually thereafter, alternately in India and US locations in the Pacific.
During the first SALVEX, a vintage Indian Navy Sea Hawk fighter was recovered from a depth of about 50 metres off Kochi. Indian Navy salvage teams have in the past also recovered a Seaking helicopter from a depth of 70 metres.
INS Nireekshak is the Indian Navy’s specialist diving support ship with a capacity to support dives up to 300 metres depth. USS Safeguard is a class auxiliary rescue and salvage ship.
For the current SALVEX, the Indian Navy’s team comprises 17 clearance divers, including two officers, The US Navy’s team comprises 15 divers, including two officers.
Indian naval divers have time and again demonstrated their professionalism by rescuing men and salvaging material in adverse and treacherous conditions in fast flowing rivers, freezing lakes and ponds and waters with virtually nil visibility.
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Tags: 70 metres, andaman sea, dives, indian navy, ins, mud monster, navies, pontoon, port blair, professionalism, rovs, salvage, sea hawk, seaking helicopter, spokesperson, sunken vessels, support ship, survey ship, treacherous conditions, us navy divers