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Indian Navy deploys INS Nirdeshak for hydrographic assistance to Mauritius

Indian Navy's INS Nirdeshak.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Navy has sent a hydrographic survey ship from its fleet to Mauritius on a four-week study mission as part of India's continuing assistance to the island nation in the field.

Indian Navy's INS Nirdeshak set sail for Mauritian waters on Thursday in line with a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries, a Defence Ministry press release said.

The survey would include collection of supporting data for continental shelf claims of Mauritius and surveys related to the development of the tourism industry in the islands.

In the last four years, Indian Navy has carried out 10 hydrographic missions in Mauritian waters including the important surveys of Port Louis harbour, Port Mathurin in Rodrigues Island, Carajos Cargados Shoals and Agalega Island.

"It is noteworthy that before the survey by the Indian Navy, Agalega was last surveyed over 100 years ago," the release said.

Apart from the hydrographic survey of important ports, harbours and designated sea areas around the islands, the MoU also encompassed training of Mauritian hydrographic personnel at National Institute of Hydrography at Goa and provision of expertise for setting up of a hydrographic infrastructure at Mauritius.

"As a result of the sustained hydrographic assistance, four navigational charts of Mauritian waters have been produced and handed over. This is likely to give a boost to their sea trade. The survey will also be assisting land-based ocean industries being set up in Mauritius," it said.

Nirdeshak's crew would also participate in community building activities during short visits to the harbour and provide assistance in reaching supplies to far-flung islands, apart from surveying unchartered waters, it added.

In March-April 2009, Nirdeshak was in Mauritius and on her return passage to India, it was diverted to Seychelles to demonstrate Indian Naval presence and to deter piracy in the region.

During the deployment off Seychelles, the ship was involved in capture of nine pirates in an operation which was coordinated with Spanish frigate Numancia.

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