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Aero India 2023

Indian Navy gearing up for solo circumnavigation expedition by woman officer

PANAJI (PTI): While felicitating Commander Abhilash Tomy for successfully completing Golden Globe, a solo non-stop race around the world, Indian Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar has said the next major activity will be a solo circumnavigation expedition by a woman officer.

The Chief of Naval Staff felicitated Cdr Tomy on Monday on the sidelines of the ongoing Goa Maritime Conclave 2023 (GMC).

Cdr Tomy has been roped in as a mentor of sailing for the Indian Navy to encourage people, give tips and groom them for such voyages, Admiral Kumar said.

"It is difficult to find such people who have an edge or talent and love to do such activities," he said referring to Cdr Tomy.

The next major activity of the Navy is a solo circumnavigation expedition by a woman officer, he said.

Two officers are under training and whenever they are deemed fit, they will be sent to the sea, he said.

Talking about the expeditions, Admiral Kumar said there is a perception amongst many people that these navigations are "not that challenging".

"When you actually go out, you face challenges, encounter bad weather, sometimes your boat is tossed around, things break, and you can drown. Despite all modern aides, life at sea is something that demands you to be alert," he said.

One has to be a thorough professional and learn to survive. Life at sea is a completely different domain, but people are not aware of that, the Navy chief said.

When asked about his experience of monitoring Cdr Tomy during his Golden Globe race, Admiral Kumar said while monitoring from land, sometimes one feels helpless.

"You have tasked somebody, he is doing it. He is the chap who is facing danger. But at the same time, when you are sitting back and monitoring it, you feel helpless sometimes, it requires the ability to withstand pressures," he said.

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