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The First Indigenously Hydrographic Survey Ship INS Sandhayak To Be Decommissioned On Friday

During Her Commissioned Service, The Ship Undertook Approximately 200 Major Hydrographic Surveys

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
I am a mumbai based journalist having worked with many daily newspapers.

INDIA. Mumbai: INS Sandhayak, the first of its class indigenously designed and built Hydrographic Survey Ship of Indian Navy, will be decommissioned on Friday, Jun 04, 21 after serving the nation for 40 years. 

The decommissioning ceremony of INS Sandhayak will be held at Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam(Andhra Pradesh) and will be a low-key event attended only by in-station officers and sailors with strict observance of COVID-19 protocols, the Defence Ministry statement said..

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INS Sandhayak was conceptualized by the then Chief Hydrographer to the Govt. of India, Rear Admiral Padma Shri FL Fraser, AVSM, who had a strong desire for indigenously designed and built hydrographic survey vessels in India. The design was finalized by Naval Headquarters and the construction of the ship began at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd, Kolkata (then Calcutta) by laying the keel in 1978. 

The ship was commissioned to the Indian Navy on Feb 26, 1981, by Vice Adm MK Roy, AVSM the then Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command (ENC). Since commissioning, she has been the Alma-Mater nurturing the hydrographers of the Indian Navy thereby laying the foundation of complete hydrographic coverage of the peninsular waters. Also, the success of her design paved way for all the Survey ships of the Indian Navy in various modifications till recently.

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Apart from a helicopter and Bofors 40 mm gun for self-defence, the ship was also equipped with four survey motor boats, two small boats. Besides she was equipped to analyze the level of pollution, sea level at various places, sea bed, and marine wealth. She was capable of conducting the shallow coastal and deep oceanic hydrographic survey and collect oceanographic and geophysical data.

The ship, during her commissioned service, undertook approximately 200 major Hydrographic Surveys and numerous minor surveys in both East and West coasts of the country, the Andaman seas, and the neighbouring countries too. Apart from Survey Missions, the ship has been an active participant in many significant operations such as Op Pawan – assisting the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka in 1987, Op Sarong, Op Rainbow – rendering humanitarian assistance post Tsunami of 2004 and participation in maiden joint Indo-US Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise “Tiger-Triumph”.

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In her glorious 40 years, the ship saw 22 Commanding Officers at the helm, with the last Commanding Officer taking charge of the ship in June 2019. With the sunset on Friday, the Naval Ensign and the Commissioning Pennant will be hauled down for the last time onboard INS Sandhayak, in the presence of Vice Adm Ajendra Bahadur Singh, AVSM, VSM Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command symbolizing the decommissioning.

Apart from a helicopter and Bofors 40 mm gun for self-defense, the ship is also equipped with four survey motor boats, two small boats. The ship was equipped to analyze the level of pollution, sea level at various places, sea bed, and marine wealth. She was also capable of conducting the shallow coastal and deep oceanic hydrographic survey and collect oceanographic and geophysical data.

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