The Indian Navy has signed an Rs20cr ($2.9m) contract with US-based salvage firm Resolve Marine Group to lift the 3,850t Brahmaputra-class frigate INS Betwa that fell on its side at the Mumbai naval dockyard, killing two sailors.
On 6 December last year, the vessel tipped over while being undocked during maintenance refit, which also injured another 14 sailors.
According to the Naval Board of Inquiry (BoI), the INS Betwa first slipped from its dock blocks and then tilted before falling flat on its side, as reported by The Times of India, quoting unnamed sources.
The sources added that the incident was caused 'due to a miscalculation of the load distribution equilibrium' that is necessary to be maintained during the undocking procedure of a ship.
As reported by The Times of India, the miscalculation has caused serious damages to the frigate, with at least 25% flooding in its compartments.
A source was quoted by DefenseWorld.net as saying: “Strict action will be taken against the personnel, including the dock-masters, found guilty of lapses.
“The BoI findings will have to be confirmed by higher authorities, first by the Western Naval Command at Mumbai and then by Navy headquarters in New Delhi.”
The Indian Navy expects the frigate to be made ready for operations soon so that it can rejoin the navy fleet as early as possible.
For the salvage operation, Resolve Marine Group is set to mobilise its resources from various places, as well as construct the necessary ‘rigs and sponsons’.
The company expects to complete the task of making the vessel upright within two months.