Ticked off by Antony, Navy Chief says safety record ‘not all that bad’

Dec 04 2013, 00:20 IST
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SummaryThe Navy chief said the establishment is 'eager' and 'anxious' to salvage the sunken ship.

DAYS after getting ticked off by Defence Ministry A K Antony over the sinking of the INS Sindhurakshak submarine and being advised not to fritter away national resources, Navy Chief D K Joshi on Tuesday said the Navy’s safety record is “not all that bad” when compared to other navies of the world.

On losses of major platforms in recent years, including the INS Vindhyagiri that went down in Mumbai in 2011 after a collision with a merchant ship, Joshi said, “These are isolated cases. The reasons do not derive their linkage from previous cases.”

The Navy has suffered a series of accidents, besides the loss of major platforms like the INS Agray and INS Prahar, in the past decade. However, the loss of Sindhurakshak earlier this year that killed 18 personnel on board is the worst ever peacetime loss suffered by the Navy.

“I would say that our record is not all that bad. We have had accidents there is no denying but if you compare with other navies...,” Joshi said. He, however, did not directly respond to Antony’s advice to top naval commanders to train their personnel suitably so that national resources “are not frittered away”.

On the delay in bringing up the sunken Sindhurakshak three months after the accident, Joshi said final negotiations were on and asserted that no one was more “eager and anxious” than the Navy to get to the reason behind the multiple explosions on the submarine.

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