India’s first indigenously designed and built hydrographic survey vessel, INS Sandhayak, to be decommissioned on June 4

Published : June 04, 2021 13:16 IST

A file photograph of INS Sandhayak. Photo: PTI

After serving the nation for 40 years, INS Sandhayak, the first-of-its-class hydrographic survey vessel of the Indian Navy, will be decommissioned on June 4. The ship, designed and built in India, has conducted surveys in shallow coastal waters and in deep seas, besides serving as alma-mater for numerous hydrographers of the Navy, imbibing in them the foundations of a complete hydrographic coverage of the Indian Peninsular waters.

The decommissioning ceremony, in the presence of Vice-Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, will take place at sunset, when the Naval ensign and the commissioning pennants of the ship are hauled down for the last time at the Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam.

The vessel was conceptualised by Rear Admiral F.L. Fraser, the then Chief Hydrographer to the government. The keel for INS Sandhayak was laid in 1978 at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata (then Calcutta). The ship’s commissioning took place in February 1981. The design of the ship paved the way for several other hydrographic survey ships of the Indian Navy.

The ship, during her commissioned service, had undertaken around 200 major hydrographic surveys and numerous minor surveys along the eastern and western coasts of India, as well as in the Andaman Seas and the waters of friendly neighbouring countries.

Apart from survey missions, INS Sandhayak played a significant role in several Indian military operations. These include Operation Pawan, assisting Indian peacekeeping forces in Sri Lanka in 1987, and Operation Rainbow, when India helped the Sri Lankan Government search for and rescue fishermen and boats lost at sea. It was also part of humanitarian missions after the 2004 Tsunami and the maiden Indo-U.S. Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Exercise – ‘Tiger Triumph’.