List of Indian Naval accidents

This is a list of accidents that have taken place in the Indian Navy. The list may be incomplete for years before 2000.

An article in India Today reported that since 1990, the Indian Navy has lost one warship in peacetime every five years. Since 2004, it has lost one naval combatant every two years. While peacetime losses of warships are not uncommon, the magazine mentioned that few global navies have such a dubious record.[1] According to the Times of India, while some of accidents reported since August 2013 were serious, many of them were trivial incidents exaggerated in public.[2]

These accidents have been attributed to ageing ships in need of maintenance (refit/repairs delayed in spite of laid down rules for refit cycles), delayed acquisitions by the Ministry of Defence, and human error.[1] However naval commentators also argue that as India's large navy of 160 ships clocks around 12,000 ship-days at sea every year, in varied waters and weather, some incidents are inevitable.[3][4] Captains of erring ships are dismissed from their command following an enquiry.[5][6] The accident on board the submarine INS Sindhuratna led to the resignation of the then Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral D K Joshi on 26 February 2014, who assumed moral responsibility for the loss.[7]

2000 - 2010Edit

2010 - presentEdit

  • In 2010, three crew members on destroyer INS Mumbai were instantly killed when an AK-630 Close-in weapon system went off as safety drills were not followed.[1]
  • January 2011: INS Vindhyagiri, a Nilgiri-class frigate, capsized after a collision with a Cyprus-flagged merchant vessel MV Nordlake near the Sunk Rock light house, following which a major fire broke out in the ship's engine and boiler room. Everyone on board was evacuated as soon as the fire broke out and hence there were no casualties.[14] INS Vindhyagiri was later decommissioned.[15]
  • August 2013: Blasts ripped through the torpedo compartment of the submarine INS Sindhurakshak while it was berthed at the naval dockyard off the Mumbai coast. Fifteen sailors and three officers were killed.[16] Other sources state that a small explosion occurred around midnight which then triggered the two larger explosions.[17] The disaster was thought to be the Indian navy's worst since the sinking of the frigate INS Khukri by a Pakistani submarine during the 1971 war.[18]
  • December 2013: INS Konkan, a Pondicherry-class minesweeper under the Eastern Naval Command, caught fire at the naval dockyard at Visakhapatnam while undergoing repairs. The fire engulfed much of the ship's interior before it was extinguished. No casualties were reported.[19]
  • December 2013: In the second incident in the same month, INS Talwar, the lead ship of the Talwar-class frigates of the Indian Navy, collided with a fishing trawler injuring four of the 27 people on board the trawler and sinking it. The fishing trawler was operating without lights.[20] The captain of the ship was subsequently stripped of command.[21]
  • December 2013: In the third incident in the same month, INS Tarkash, again a Talwar-class frigate, suffered damage to its hull when it hit the jetty while docking at the Mumbai naval base. The navy ordered a board of inquiry.[22]
  • January 2014: INS Betwa, a Brahmaputra-class guided missile frigate, ran aground and collided with an unidentified object while approaching the Mumbai naval base. The sonar system of the frigate was cracked, leading to faulty readings and an ingress of saltwater into sensitive equipment.[23]
  • January 2014: In the second incident in the same month, INS Vipul, a Veer-class corvette of the elite 22nd Killer Missile Vessel Squadron, was detected with a hole in its pillar compartment which forced the ship back into the harbour while it was on an operational deployment.[24]
  • February 2014: On 3 February, INS Airavat, a Shardul-class amphibious warfare vessel, ran aground while returning to its home base at Visakhapatnam, causing slight damage to its propellers. Following the incident, its commanding officer, Captain JPS Virk, was relieved of command pending the findings of a Board of Inquiry.[25]
  • February 2014: On 26 February, INS Sindhuratna, a Kilo-class submarine, had a fire detected on board when trials were being conducted which resulted in smoke leading to suffocation and death of two officers. Seven sailors were reported injured and were airlifted to the naval base hospital in Mumbai.[26] According to the naval board of inquiry, the fire was caused due to problems in the cables of the vessel.[27] This particular incident led to the resignation of Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral D K Joshi on 26 February 2014, who owned moral responsibility for the incidents in the past few months.[28]
  • March 2014: INS Kolkata had a malfunction on board which led to a toxic gas leak killing Commander Kuntal Wadhwa instantly.[29] According to the Indian Navy, the ship suffered a malfunction in its carbon dioxide unit while undergoing machinery trials, leading to gas leakage.[30] Since the ship was not commissioned at the time of the incident, the enquiry into the mishap will be done by Mazagon Dock Limited, where the ship was constructed.
  • May 2014: INS Ganga suffered a minor explosion in the boiler room while undergoing a refit at the Mumbai dockyard. Four people suffered minor injuries. There was no fire and no equipment was damaged.[31][32][33]
  • November 2014: A torpedo recovery vessel of the Astravahini class A-73 sank 30 nautical miles (56 km; 35 mi) off the Vizag coast during a routine mission to recover torpedoes fired by fleet ships during a routine exercise. The accident resulted in the death of one sailor while four others were reported as missing however 23 other personnel were rescued by SAR teams deployed right after the incident.[34]
  • March 2015: A Dornier Do 228 aircraft belonging to the Indian Navy Aviation Squadron 310, on a routine training mission, lost radar contact and ditched at sea about 20 nautical miles (37 km; 23 mi) southwest of Goa on the night of 24 March 2015. The aircrew on board the aircraft comprised three officers (two pilots and one female observer). The lone survivor, Commander Nikhil Kuldip Joshi, was picked up by a passing fishing boat. The bodies of the other two officers Lieutenant Abhinav Nagori and Lieutenant Kiran Shekhawat were recovered. Media reports suggested that the female observer could be the first woman in India's military to die in active service. Meanwhile, a Board of Inquiry was ordered to establish the cause of the accident.[35][36]
  • November 2015: INS Kochi, a Kolkata-class destroyer, conducted BrahMos missile test firings whilst the airspace remained open to traffic, due to a communication failure.[37]
  • March 2016: A fire broke out on the soon-to-be decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat which resulted in the death of one and the injury of three others.[38]
  • April 2016: A sailor lost his leg while two others were injured in an oxygen cylinder explosion on board INS Nireekshak. The explosion took place on 16 April while a diving bailout bottle, a small 12-inch (30 cm) oxygen bottle that is carried by divers in their diving helmet, was being charged. The sailors were admitted in the Military Hospital, Trivandrum as the ship was on it way to Mumbai from Visakhapatnam.[39][40]
  • June 2016: Two people, a sailor and a civilian contractor, were killed by a toxic gas leak that occurred during maintenance work in the Sewage Treatment Plant compartment during the first refit of the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya at Karwar. Two other people were injured and taken to the naval hospital.[41][42][43]
  • August 2016: A minor fire broke out at INS Dega after a MiG-29K accidentally jettisoned one of its drop tanks.[44]
  • October 2016: Sub Lieutenant Tejveer Singh died on 11 October 2016 onboard INS Kuthar after he accidentally fired his 9mm pistol. He was shifted to Naval Hospital INHS Kalyani in Visakhapatnam where he succumbed to his injuries.[45]
  • November 2016: The front portion of INS Nashak was damaged when its GT engines failed in Mumbai harbor and it collided with a jetty on 18 November.[46]
  • December 2016: Two sailors died and 14 others were injured when INS Betwa tipped over and crashed on its side while it was undocking in Mumbai on 6 December. The main mast of the ship broke when it tipped over due to a failure in the dock block mechanism. The ship was being undocked after undergoing a midlife refit.[47][48]
  • January 2017: A minor fire broke out at 11.40am on 10 January in the Gyro compartment of INS Pralay during welding work at Mumbai naval dockyard. The fire was extinguished by the ship's staff and the Naval Dockyard fire station and no one was injured during the incident.[49][50]
  • February 2017: A minor fire broke out on 1 February 2017 in the left engine room of INS Kamorta when it was operating at sea. The room was immediately evacuated and the fire put out using the ship's Fixed fire system and there were no injuries during the incident.[51][52]
  • October 2017: INS Kadmatt (P29), while stern maneuvering to the dock, collided by the stern with Russian ship Irytsh in Vladivostok on 19 October during Indra 2017. Irytsh, a naval hospital ship, suffered hull dents over the waterline. According to reports, the main reasons attributed to the collision were language problems between the Indian officers and the on-board pilot and the corvette's commander lack of practice in making fast stern.[53]
  • January 2018: A fire broke out in the store compartment aboard INS Shivalik but it was controlled in time and there was no major damage or casualties.[54][55]
  • July 2018: A fire broke out at the Gyro compartment of the INS Pralaya (K91) but no one suffered any injuries.[56]
  • April 2019: A fire broke out in the engine room of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya which claimed the life of a naval officer.[57]

See alsoEdit


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  2. ^ "With Dhowan moving up, Navy set for major reshuffle". The Times of India. 25 April 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  3. ^ Shukla, Ajai (6 March 2014). "The sinking feeling over Indian navy". Aljazeera. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  4. ^ Shukla, Ajai (5 March 2014). "Tale of an underwater tragedy". Business Standard. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  5. ^ Pandit, Rajat (4 February 2014). "Navy sacks INS Airavat captain after warship mishap". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  6. ^ Singh, Rahul (25 January 2014). "Indian Navy strips top officers of warship command over lapses, accidents". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  7. ^ Pandit, Rajat; Narayan, V (26 February 2014). "Indian Navy chief Admiral DK Joshi resigns over warship accidents". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  8. ^ "INS Sindhurakshak sinks with 18 sailors on board, submarine fleet suffers 'dent'". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 14 March 2014.
  9. ^ a b Gandhi, Jatin (11 January 2008). "Submarine fails to detect ship, collides". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  10. ^ Sonawane, Rakshit (2 October 2006). "INS Prahar mishap: Captain found guilty of navigational error, sacked". Indian Express. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  11. ^ Desai, Stavan (28 September 2006). "Warship collides with SCI vessel off Mumbai coast". Indian Express. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
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