INDIA. Mumbai: Indian Navy participated in a two-day bilateral Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Royal Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG)-21 led by HMS Queen Elizabeth in the Bay of Bengal from July 21 to July 22.
The bilateral Maritime Exercise was designed to hone the ability of the two navies to operate together in the maritime domain. The maiden exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy’s latest Aircraft Carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, included the participation of CSG-21 comprising Type 23 Frigates and an Astute-class submarine in addition to the other surface combatants. Indian Navy was represented by IN Ships Satpura, Ranvir, Jyoti, Kavaratti, and Kulish. A submarine, Anti-Submarine Warfare Capable Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft P81 also participated in the exercise.
With the presence of the CSG-21 in the Indian Ocean, the ongoing exercise has afforded excellent opportunity to engage over the entire spectrum of maritime operations including ASW, Anti-Air, and Anti-Surface warfare. The exercise also witnessed the maiden participation of the F 35 B Lightning which operates from the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Regular Indian Navy-Royal Navy interactions over the years have augmented their professional content, interoperability, and adaptability in the ever-changing security scenarios. The inter-operability achieved over the years has ensured a quantum jump in the complexity and scale of professional exchanges which is being further enhanced by the presence of the Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group in the Indian Ocean, an official statement said.
ICG rescues 12 crew of MV Kanchan
In another development, the Indian Coast Guard rescued all the 12 crew of Motor Vessel (MV) Kanchan stranded off Umargam, Gujarat on July 21. Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Mumbai had received information from DG Communication center, Mumbai in the afternoon of July 21, that MV Kanchan is stranded due to contamination in fuel thereby rendering the engine non-operational and no electrical power onboard, amid inclement weather.
Later in the evening, the master of the vessel intimated that MV Kanchan, carrying steel coils as cargo, had dropped anchor and was tilting towards Starboard’s (right) side. The MRCC Mumbai instantly activated the International Safety Net (ISN) and MV Hermeez was immediately diverted towards the distressed vessel. Braving rough seas, MV Hermeez safely evacuated all the 12 crew of MV Kanchan in a swift night operation. Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) Water Lily was also deployed by DG Shipping, Mumbai for assisting the stranded vessel. In addition, two tugs were deployed by the vessel owners to help the vessel.