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Keel laying ceremony INSV Mhadei's sister boat held in Goa

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PANAJI (PTI): Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar expressed hope that all-woman crew will create a record by circumnavigating the globe on the "sister boat" of 'INSV Mhadei', whose keel laying ceremony was held at a shipyard on Dival Island on Sunday.

"This boat (sister boat of 'INSV Mhadei') is slated to take the all-woman crew on a circumnavigation of the globe. If successful, the all-woman crew will achieve a record of being the first ever all-woman Indian crew to undertake circumnavigation of globe," Parrikar said.

The ceremony was held at Aquarius Shipyard.

Speaking on the occasion, Parrikar stressed the importance of awareness about "maritime matters among the population".

"No country can be a great power unless it is a maritime power," the minister said.

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan, Vice Admiral (Retd) MP Avati were present on the occasion.

Navy is currently training the six women officers on 'Mhadei', who would sail the new boat (sister boat) for circumnavigation expedition next year.

Also built by Aquarius Shipyard, 'Mhadei' had proved its mettle by circumnavigating the globe twice and has sailed more than 100,000 miles in a short span of just over 7 years which is a feat in itself.

The officers included Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi (Naval architect) who was appointed as the first woman skipper of Mhadei on February 8 this year, Lieutenants P Swathi, Pratibha Jamwal (both Air Traffic Control specialists), Vijaya Devi and Sub-Lieutenant Payal Gupta (both Education officers) and Lieutenant B Aishwarya (Naval Architect).

To prepare themselves for the arduous voyage, the officers competed theoretical training in "Navigation, Communication, Seamanship and Meteorology" at the Navy's various training establishments based at Kochi in August last year.

Since then, they have been trained on board 'Mhadei' under the guidance of Commander Dilip Donde who was the first Indian to solo-circumnavigate the globe in 2009-10 on the vessel.

The rigorous training included sorties of different durations with the Commander and handling equipment fitted on board.

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India  Navy  Mhadei  Goa  
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