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Indian Navy and US Navy Divers Exercise Specialist Salvage Techniques in Salvex

New Delhi 

Indian Navy's Divers will commence exercises with US Navy divers in a Joint Salvage Exercise off Port Blair in the Andaman Sea. The Salvage Exercises (SALVEX) is being conducted from 05 to 12 Jan 2011. INS Nireekshak, the diving tender of the Indian Navy and USS Safeguard, a specialised Salvage ship are the ships participating in the exercise.

The aim of the exercise is to strengthen capability in niche techniques associated with diving and salvage. In the course of the seven day exercise various specialist salvage techniques will be practiced jointly by the IN and USN divers. Amongst the notable salvage techniques being demonstrated are; operation of underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and side scan SONARs being launched from USS Safeguard, and demonstration of Hot Tap Equipment. Hot Tap Equipment is a special equipment used for removal of oil/fuel from tanks of sunken vessels. During the SALVEX the divers will also hone their salvage skills on a 'Mud Monster', a pontoon specially built and sunk to practice salvage and diving exercises.

The maiden IN-USN SALVEX was conducted in 2005 and the SALVEX series of exercises have been conducted annually thereafter alternately in India and US Pacific locations. Interestingly in the first SALVEX a vintage Sea Hawk fighter aircraft was recovered from a depth of about 50 metres off Kochi. IN Salvage teams have also recovered a Seaking helicopter from a depth of 70 metres in the past.

INS Nireekshak is the Indian Navy's specialist diving support ship with the capacity to support dives upto 300 metres depth. USS Safeguard is a Safeguard class auxilliary rescue and salvage ship. In this edition of SALVEX, the Indian Navy's team comprises 17 Clearance Divers including two officers and the US Navy's team comprises 15 divers including two officers.

Indian Navy's divers have time and again demonstrated their diving professionalism by rescue of men and salvage of material in adverse and treachorous conditions in waters as varied as fast flowing rivers, freezing lakes and ponds and waters with virtually nil visibility.