Two highspeed patrol boats of Indian Navy, which are used for security of assets in the waters around Mumbai, on Tuesday sank at the naval dockyard here following a fire that broke out in one of the vessels.
Navy sources said that there was no loss of life or collateral damage to other naval assets in the harbor and that a Board of Inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
The fire broke out in one of the Immediate Support Vessels (ISVs) at about 1 a.m., they said, adding that the exact cause of the blaze is yet to be ascertained. The fire quickly spread to the second ISV anchored next to it even as the naval fire fighters tried their best to limit the damage.
Even though the fire was eventually brought under control, there was ingress of water on both the boats and they sank in shallow waters inside the naval harbor area. Efforts are underway to salvage the two boats, the make and type of which has not yet been disclosed.
Once the boats are salvaged, a decision would be taken whether they are still serviceworthy, the sources said. ISVs are armed with heavy machine guns (HMGs) and propelled by water jet propulsion system.
The new ISVs can operate at the maximum speed of 40 knots and economical speed of 20 Knots. They are designed to operate for long duration and have endurance of 500 nautical miles at sea. These ships are also equipped with advanced sensors and navigational aids.
A day/night surveillance capability coupled with speed, excellent maneuverability and advanced communication enables these ships to protect oil platforms against asymmetric threat from antinational elements. These vessels can also rapidly insert and extract naval commandos, MARCOS, at oil platforms should the need arise.