Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another Indian Submarine Suffers Mishap

Only 6 months after the tragic explosion and fire aboard INS Sindhurakshak (S63), another Indian Kilo, INS Sindhuratna (S 59) suffered a mishap, this one at sea; the Indian CNO resigned as a result:
The submarine, Sindhuratna, was forced to surface after smoke was detected on board, the government said in a statement. Seven crew members were airlifted from the submarine and admitted to a hospital in Mumbai, where they were in stable condition, said Narendra Vispute, a spokesman for the Indian Navy. Two other crew members were missing, “and all efforts are in progress to locate them,” the statement said.
After the accident, Adm. D. K. Joshi, chief of the Indian naval staff, submitted his resignation, “taking moral responsibility for the accidents and incidents which have taken place during the past few months,” the statement said. The government accepted his resignation and will appoint a new naval chief.
While details are still coming in, it appears that two officers (a LCDR and LT) are still missing and feared dead, and 7 crewmembers were medivac'd off after a fire in the "3rd compartment". (A Kilo has six compartments.) Initial reports indicate a battery casualty and possible fire, with the missing officers being sealed inside when the compartment was isolated. Sindharatna was reported undergoing sea trials following a 6 month refit.

Staying at PD and sending prayers and best wishes for the missing Submariners, their shipmates, and loved ones.

Update 1150 2/27: The missing officers are reported to be dead. More information here. Lieutenant Commander Kapish Muwal and Lieutenant Manoranjan Kumar, rest your oars.

It's been a bad week for submarines in the Indian Ocean. An Australian boat, HMAS Waller (SSG 75) also suffered a fire during post-upkeep sea trials, with four Sailors sent to shore for observation after the fire was put out.


Blogger hughmon said...

Holy crap my worst fear ever.
We had a minor fire during turnover in Scotland, we put it out while in our "fly-a-way" uniforms. Many of us spent the flight home stinking of burnt insulation.

2/27/2014 2:17 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

India's latest submarine tragedy merely underscores what lies ahead for its nuclear submarine aspirations. Granted, there seems, at long last, to be a modicum of accountability (CNO's resignation). But the underlying problem is closely tied to India's abysmal literacy rate (less than The Republic of Congo's (89.6%) or Zambia's.

Last December, a shell from an Indian Coast Guard ship accidentally landed inside the Navy base in Mumbai.

Mistakes with nuclear vessels (propulsion and armaments) can obviously be compounded ten-fold over a conventional sub like a Kilo's.

India's sub service is learning to crawl, and had recently accepted "heavy siltation", "unskilled labourers", and "tide suddenly receded" as adequate explanations for some naval accidents. The poor quality of its "get well" plans has probably mattered most.

Finally, quoting from the linked source, there is this suggestion which obviously requires improvements in yard and crew literacy, and you need not take my word for that:

"It is high time that people realise the need to adhere to laid down procedures." - Vice Admiral (retd) RP Suthan, former Vice Chief of the Naval Staff

More, including here.

2/27/2014 1:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very sad news and I would certainly not use this as an opportunity to ridicule the Indian navy.

2/27/2014 8:16 PM

Blogger KellyJ said...

It is sad news. But in India's case, without some ridicule and forced introspection they will continue in their current path and we will be reading more sad news in the not to distant future.
India's caste system works great for an army of cannon fodder. Not so much for a modern professional Navy or Air Force.

2/28/2014 8:08 AM

Anonymous Treadhead said...

Russian gear + Indian literacy & skills = disaster. Just look at the Indian's track record with the MiG21.

The question(s) for you professional submariners:

Would western boats be safer for the Indians to operate?

Would better engineering make it safer? Or would it make the situation worse due to being more complex?

2/28/2014 8:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, and yes.

2/28/2014 12:59 PM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

Before pointing and criticizing, USS Bonefish.

These guys are finding out what it's taken us a century of the same kinds of mishaps to learn.

3/01/2014 3:20 PM

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3/03/2014 2:38 AM


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