Army's sailing expedition from Mumbai to Minicoy and back takes off

Sakal Times
Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Pune: City-based College of Military Engineering (CME) has organised an all arms Indian Army ocean sailing expedition from Mumbai to Minicoy (Lakshadweep) and back. The expedition, under the aegis of the Army Adventure Wing, Southern Command, was flagged off by Lieutenant General Vishwambhar Singh, General Officer Commanding, Mumbai, Goa & Gujarat Area on Tuesday from Army Adventure Nodal Centre, Marve in Mumbai. 

Pune: City-based College of Military Engineering (CME) has organised an all arms Indian Army ocean sailing expedition from Mumbai to Minicoy (Lakshadweep) and back. The expedition, under the aegis of the Army Adventure Wing, Southern Command, was flagged off by Lieutenant General Vishwambhar Singh, General Officer Commanding, Mumbai, Goa & Gujarat Area on Tuesday from Army Adventure Nodal Centre, Marve in Mumbai. 

Addressing the expedition team, Lt Gen Singh brought out the glorious legacy of Indian Army in the field of sailing. The Corps of Engineers of Indian Army pioneered this sport and created history by sailing around the world in less than 16 months on a boat called ‘Trishna’. This set the stage for growth of this sport in India. 

He said adventure sailing on small boats tests endurance of sailors and builds their spirit of adventure, and also helps them develop the temperament and tenacity needed in battle. 

Experienced crew members 
The expedition will cover 1,800 nautical miles over 42 days. The expedition is divided into six legs, Marve to Karwar, Karwar to Kochi, Kochi to Minicoy and back via the same route. A total of 18 officers, three junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and 14 other ranks from different arms and services of the Indian Army are participating. 

All officers taking part in the expedition are qualified in Blue Water Sailing Course conducted by the Indian Army and have been trained to handle all kinds of contingencies at sea. 

The expedition leader for the journey from Marve to Minicoy will be Lt Col MK Bhattacharya, Officer-in- charge of Army Adventure Nodal Centre, Marve. 

The leader for the return leg from Minicoy to Marve will be Lt Col Karunakaran Adencherry, Officer-in-charge, sailing node at College of Military Engineering (CME), Pune. 

Both officers have 16,000 nautical miles of sailing experience. Lt Swati Choudhary of Corps of Engineers is the sole lady officer in the expedition. 

Challenging task 
- Four seabird class boats, 21 feet in length, will be used for the expedition 
- These 18th century Scottish design boats, meant for harbour sailing have minimal on board facilities like toilets or modern amenities like navigation devices thereby making sailing expedition on these boats more challenging. 
- A crew of four will set sail in each boat in each leg. 

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