AN ocean sailing expedition conducted by an all-arms Ocean Sailing Team of the Indian Army, reached Mumbai on Friday. The expedition, which set sail on March 6 from Mumbai to Minicoy Island in Lakshadweep, covered more than 1,800 nautical miles in over 40 days. The sailors were welcomed back by Lieutenant General Michael Mathews, Commandant of the College of Military Engineering. While flagging in the event, he congratulated all members and complimented their spirit of adventure to undertake and complete the expedition, hailed as one of the most challenging and arduous one.
The expedition team comprising of 18 officers, thee Junior Commissioned Officers and 14 other ranks was led by Lt Col Karunakaran Adencherry. The team undertook the expedition in four Seabird Class boats, which are of 18th century Scottish design and have no onboard facilities like cabin, toilets or protection from the sun and the rain, available in modern yachts. The sailing expedition encountered winds ranging from 24 to 40 knots and a sea swell of two to three metres, which posed a major challenge for the small seabird class boats.
Cruising continuously in scorching heat of 40 degrees Celsius and in pitch dark nights, the sailing expedition maintained safe distance from the civilian ships and sailed 24 X 7, to complete the difficult task. Various difficulties during the expedition were overcome by sheer grit and determination of the crew members, in addition to the extensive training imparted to the sailing team at Army Aqua Nodal Centre at Marve, said a press release from the Indian Army.
The expedition was conducted under the aegis of the Army Adventure Wing, Southern Command and Army Aqua Nodal Centre, Marve with College of Military Engineering, Pune playing the key role in training and administering the expedition.