Bidding adieu to the Indian Navy’s oldest Hydrographic Survey Vessel, INS Sandhayak was decommissioned at Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam. After serving the nation for 40 glorious years, on Friday, 04 June 21, this majestic vessel was decommissioned in its best form. The ship was decommissioned in a solemn and low-key event due to the ongoing Covid pandemic. The National Flag, Naval Ensign, and the Decommissioning Pennant were lowered at sunset time in the presence of Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, AVSM, VSM Flag Officer Commander-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command, the Chief Guest of the ceremony. The Decommissioning Ceremony was also attended by Vice Admiral Vinay Badhwar, AVSM, NM Chief Hydrographer to Govt. of India, and by serving Hydrographers, outstation ex-crew members. Few other veterans virtually attended the ceremony through live streaming. It was announced a few days back by the Indian Navy that INS Sandhayak is to be decommissioned in Visakhapatnam.
INS Sandhayak was launched on 6 April 1977 and commissioned on 14 March 1981. During her 40 years of illustrious service in the Indian Navy, INS Sandhayak undertook over 200 major hydrographic surveys in Western and Eastern coasts of the Indian peninsula, the Andaman Sea, and surveys in neighboring countries including Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. The ship also took part in important operations like Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka, 1987, Operation Rainbow for Humanitarian Assistance in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, and the maiden Indo-US HADR Exercise Tiger-Triumph in 2019.
This vessel (J18) is the lead ship of the Sandhayak class of the survey ships and equipped with a helicopter, Bofors 40 mm gun for self-defense, four survey motorboats, and two small boats. This vessel has the unique capability of analyzing the level of pollution, sea level at various places, sea bed, and sea marine wealth. INS Sandhayak is also capable of conducting a shallow coastal and deep oceanic hydrographic survey and collect Oceanographic and geophysical data. INS Sandhyak is the Indian Navy’s fifth hydrographic survey ship in the series indigenously designed and constructed.