Hyderabad: To encourage a spirit of adventure amongst young soldiers and to spread awareness about ocean pollution, the Army has undertaken a wind sailing expedition ‘Round the Indian Peninsula’ from Haldia in west Bengal on the east coast to Porbandar in Gujarat on the west coast.
The expedition is being organised by EME Sailing Association, MCEME of Secunderabd under the aegis of the Army Adventure Wing.
The expedition was flagged off by Lt Gen Paramjit Singh, Commandant, MCEME, on Sunday from Haldia.
The team lead by Major Alok Kumar Yadav will complete the expedition in about 45 days. The EME Sailing Association has undertaken off-shore expeditions earlier, but of a much smaller scale using the Sea Bird class of boats. The current expedition being more challenging has been undertaken, for the first time, in an ocean-going Bavaria Class 44-ft sail yacht. The team comprising of 50 sailors has representation from all arms and services of the Army. The team will be calling at all major ports along the Indian coast line including Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Mangalore, Goa and Mumbai before reaching Porbandar.
The team has also tied up with various NGOs to achieve the secondary aim of collecting data about marine life conservation and oceanic pollution. The expedition was conceived about two years ago as a precursor to bigger expeditions like circumnavigation of the globe. The planning and preparation included coordination with the Indian Navy and Coast Guard for search and rescue and navigation support.
The team prepared for Blue Water training at HBTC, Marve, and Mumbai and headed to Chennai to understand the nuances of handling the bigger boat which was being used for the first time.
The training included classes on navigation, marine communication, radio telephony, passage planning, knots and hitches, tides and currents, medicine and first aid. Contingency planning, safety at sea, distress management and team building were other aspects which were undertaken during the gruelling training of the sailors....