Indian naval ship’s commander calls on President Michel after survey mission


16-December-2011

President Michel welcomes Commander Arora at State House

Captain Adhir Arora, the commanding officer on board the Indian survey vessel INS Sarvekshak, made the courtesy call after his ship carried out surveys off Ile Picard and the adjacent areas of Aldabra at the request of the Seychelles government.
The last survey of the area was done between 1964 and 1967 and some of the data dates back to 1878, which is considered vintage by any modern standards.

To ensure safety of navigation at sea, coastal states are required to update their charts with the latest bathymetry information in accordance with the International Maritime Organisation’s regulations.

Captain Arora said it is essential for the seafaring community to have safe waters under their keel.

“The data that we gathered is going through quality assurance and quality checks, and after that it will be published as navigation charts which will be available to seafarers who navigate in the Aldabra region,” he said.

“Although the ship is capable of doing all types of surveys – including continental shelf surveys – we did only the bathymetry, demarcating the coastline, as well as finding out the extent of the lagoon.”

The ship’s equipment include four survey motor boats, a helicopter, two small boats, multi-beam and single-beam echo sounders. These allowed the survey to determine and define the extent of reef which forms the outlying danger for shipping and boats, hence greatly assisting in the safety of all vessels approaching Ile Picard.

Altogether, 250 kilometres of coastline – which includes Ile Picard, Polyminie and part of Ile Malabar and Grand Terre – were delineated. This data will help in re-assessing the coastline and study any erosion or accumulation when compared to earlier data.

Two representatives of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces also took part in the exercise and received training on all aspects of hydrography, their first such exposure to such subject.

The INS Sarvekshak during its survey mission

The ship also transported men and materials to Aldabra and was in turn given medical cover and minor repairs to equipment during its stay there.

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