KOCHI: Completing its fourth circumnavigation voyage, INS Tarangini, the Navy’s three-masted sail training ship, docked at the Kochi Naval Base on Tuesday. The 21-year-old ship, captained by Commander Rahul Mehta with a crew of nine officers and 43 sailors, set sail from Kochi on April 10 for its fourth Lokayan, a seven-month voyage to Europe. During its 205-day journey, the ship traversed 22,000 miles (35,405 km) and called on 15 ports in 13 countries. The crew was felicitated by SNC Chief of Staff Rear Admiral N J Nadkarni at the reception ceremony on Tuesday.
Besides providing sail training 120 sea trainees, the ship participated in the culminating event of the ‘Three Festival Tall Ships Regatta’ at Bordeaux in France and in the ‘Tall Ships Races Europe, 2018’ from Sunderland in the UK to Esbjerg in Denmark and Stavanger in Norway to Harlingen in Netherlands. The ship sailed across the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar, the North Atlantic Ocean, the Bay of Biscay, English Channel and reached Norway crossing the North Sea before returning to Kochi.
The ship participated in a sailing parade alongside hundreds of other vessels, including 200 tall ships. Mehta addressed the audience on behalf of all tall ships at the ‘grand culmination ceremony’ of the Tall Ships Race at Harlingen on August 5, said a Navy officer.
The High Commission and Defence Attache at Saudi Arabia facilitated the visit of two Muslim personnel from the ship to Mecca to perform Umrah during the ship’s stay at Jeddah.
“We are the only country outside Europe to participate in the events. We faced tough challenges, like experiencing rough seas and extreme climatic conditions, with wind gushing at 50 knots and waves rising as high as 10-15 ft. INS Tarangini is an open vessel and we were exposed to the weather.
“At times, the temperature dropped below 10 degree celsius and there were cold rains. The Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the North Atlantic Ocean and Bay of Biscay are known for turbulent waters. But we took it in stride,” said Mehta. He said hundreds of Keralites visited the ship at Jeddah, Muscat and Djibouti.
Indian Ocean naval symposium on Nov 13, 14
A Tall Ship Race will be organised as part of the Indian Ocean naval symposium scheduled to be held in Kochi on November 13 and 14. Twenty sea riders, including INS Tarangini, INS Sudarshini and Oman ship Zinat Al Bihaar, from various countries will participate. The race will start from Kochi on November 14 and is expected to culminate at Muscat on November 27. Representatives from 32 countries will attend the naval symposium. Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman will inaugurate the event. Eight countries, including China and Russia, will participate as observers.