Kochi: The sail training ship of Indian Navy, INS Tarangini based at Kochi, returned after a seven-month-long sailing across the world to the Naval Base, Kochi, on Tuesday. The ship sailed over 22,000 nautical miles across 15 ports in 13 countries in 205 days.
The ship was received by Rear Admiral RJ Nadkarni, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command. "The primary role of these Sail Training Ships is to develop character and professionalism, as well as inculcate the qualities of courage, resilience and perseverance," Admiral Nadkarni said.
"The ship and its crew have interacted with different people across countries, and she has proved to be a true ambassador of the nation. This is one of the roles that all naval ships are supposed to carry out, what we call maritime diplomacy," he said.
The voyage named 'Lokayan 18' was flagged off on April 10 from Kochi to sail across the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Suez Canal, Mediterranean Sea, Strait of Gibraltar, North Atlantic Ocean, Bay of Biscay, English Channel and North Sea, right up to Norway.
The ship also participated in the culminating event of the 'Three Festival Tall Ships Regatta' at Bordeaux, France. And the 'Tall Ships Races Europe 2018' which started at Sunderland, the UK and touched Esbjerg, Denmark and Stavanger, Norway before finishing at Harlingen, the Netherlands
. During the tall ships regatta, the ship sailed along with hundreds of other sailing vessels, of which 200 were 'Tall Ships' like Tarangini.
"Everyone was so happy by our presence. We were the only country outside Europe which participated in all these events. Those countries are pioneers in sailing and we want to project our own maritime heritage over there and we were able to do that. Only very advanced countries do these kinds of sea training," said Commander Rahul Mehta, captain of INS Tarangini.
The ship will be heading to Muscat next month along with INS Sudarshini, the second Sail Training Ship of the navy and Oman's sailing vessel Zinat al Bihaar to participate in the Indian Ocean naval symposium.
The navy officials said that the ship will soon be put for maintenance for few days before the journey on November 13.
It is a three masted 'square rigged' barque and also is the first Sail Training Ship in Indian Navy commissioned on 11 November 1997.
The ship has sailed over 2,20,000 nautical miles in 21 years across the world's oceans. It has a crew of nine officers and 43 sailors and can also embark 30 Officer Sea Trainees.
Tarangini had been earlier deployed for long voyages, which includes one circumnavigation of the globe in 2003 and three previous 'Lokayans' in 2005, 2007 and 2015....