INS Betwa, the missile frigate that toppled over during undocking in December last year, was undocked after a refit, Navy officials said on Thursday. Navy officials said that the ship was planned for undocking on June 22. However, during flooding of the dry dock, a list of up to 7-8 degrees was observed which was corrected. Still, the ship could not be undocked due to a leakage in the dock-gate of the dry dock and subsequent unfavourable tide. The undocking was finally undertaken on June 27 when the tide was suitable.
“The ship has been undocked smoothly,” a Navy official said. The vessel was undergoing a refit at the dry dock in the naval dockyards in Mumbai. It slipped during undocking on December 6, killing two and injuring 14 naval personnel. The Indian Navy on January 16 signed a contract with Resolve Marine to salvage the 3,800-tonne Brahmaputra-class frigate. The cost of getting the boat upright was around Rs 20 crore.
A dry dock is a narrow basin or vessel that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated in, then drained to allow that load to come to rest on a dry platform. Dry docks are used for the construction, maintenance and repair of ships, boats and other watercraft. Undocking of a ship is the process of putting a ship back in water to float. The frigate slipped from her dock blocks and tilted. Officials initially said it appeared that the dock block mechanism had failed.
INS Betwa — inducted in the Navy in July 2004 — was part of Task Force 54, tasked to evacuate nationals of India as well as those from Sri Lanka, Nepal and Lebanon married to Indian nationals from the conflict zone during the 2006 Lebanon war, as part of Operation Sukoon.