Hit by a series of accidents, including on two conventional submarines, the Navy on Monday said it has instituted add-on safety measures on its assets to prevent future accidents.
Meanwhile, INS Sindhuratna, the submarine that reported a fire leading to two personnel’s death last week, had a burnt-up cable in the sailors’ living quarters in its third of the six compartments, Navy sources said after inspection, adding that its 240 batteries are in perfect shape.
The navy mishaps, including on INS Sindhurakshak in August last and INS Sindhuratna last week, have cumulatively claimed 20 naval personnel’s lives and resulted in the resignation of Navy chief Admiral D K Joshi.
The Navy said that “as an added step, Naval headquarters directed the conduct of safety ‘stand-down’ and a one-time safety audits prior to operational deployment of any ship or submarine.”
The procedures would involve ‘safety audits’ of all operational units by nominated teams at the command and operational levels. “Besides, water tight integrity and fire fighting preparedness of units under refit have been ordered once a quarter. A feedback procedure has also been institutionalised and is being monitored at the Naval headquarters,” it added.
“Safety culture as a way of life, among personnel, traditionally forms a part of naval ethos, and several initiatives have additionally been introduced based on emerging requirements,” a Navy spokesperson said.
“To inculcate a ‘think safety’ attitude among Naval personnel, training in safety is undertaken from the initial stage itself and is reinforced at all stages of the Naval career,” the Navy said.
In case of a long lay-off such as refits of ships and submarines, which could extend from a few months to a year, ‘safety checks’ in harbour and at sea are undertaken prior to declaring the ship and submarine “operational”.