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India-Lanka joint naval exercise

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Colombo/New Delhi: A six-day joint naval exercise between India and Sri Lanka commenced in the seas off Trincomalee, in the eastern part of the island nation on Tuesday, the Lankan navy media unit said.

The joint exercise titled “SLINEX 2015” is scheduled to end on November 1. Six naval ships and six Fast Attack Craft of the Sri Lankan Navy and three ships of the Indian Navy are taking part in the joint exercise, Xinhua news agency reported.

The navy said it concerns maintaining effective maritime security in the region by integrating forces through cooperation, coordination and collaboration.

“This leads to mutual understanding of limitations and capabilities, to enhance service inter dependability and system compatibility in countering challenges,” the navy media unit said.

The joint exercise was seen as a great opportunity for both the navies to rehearse and improve capabilities such as cross deck operations, replenishment at sea and information sharing.

The two navies will also carry out coordinated helicopter operations at sea during the exercise.

“Indian Navy has been a great mentor of Sri Lanka Navy in many maritime aspects. Regular joint exercises have facilitated both the navies to gradually and systematically develop professionalism through these interactions,” the navy said.

Earlier, in New Delhi, it was announced that the Indian naval ships Kora, Kirpan and Savitri along with ship-borne integral helicopters entered Trincomalee to participate in the exercise.

Kora and Kirpan, the missile corvettes, are commanded by Commander Ashok Rao and Commander Abraham Samuel respectively.

The offshore patrol vessel Savitri is under Commander Prashant Negi.

In addition, an Indian naval maritime reconnaissance aircraft will also participate in the exercise, the statement said.

The exercise will include complex operations including anti-piracy exercises, gun firing and cross-deck helicopter operations.

The sea phase will start on October 30.

“The benefits of operational interactions under SLINEX are clearly visible as both the navies today have an improved and steadfast understanding. SLINEX 15 will further enhance the capability of the two navies to work together at sea and contribute towards maritime security in the region,” the Indian Navy said.

“SLINEX aims to promote mutual understanding and provide exposure to both the navies to each others’ operating procedures, communication procedures and best practices.

“This allows the two navies to develop greater confidence to operate together, if required, during complex maritime missions.”

(IANS)

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Killing of Indian Fisherman allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy raised in Lok Sabha

Raising the issue in the lower house, AIADMK leader M. Thambidurai said the fishermen community was in "shock" over the killing

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A fisherman in India (representational image), Wikimedia

New Delhi, March 9, 2017: Members in the Lok Sabha on Thursday raised the issue of the killing of an Indian fisherman allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy, and sought action from the government.

Raising the issue in the lower house, AIADMK leader M. Thambidurai said the fishermen community was in “shock” over the killing.

He also said that Indian fishermen are regularly troubled by the Sri Lankan Navy who at times also take away their fishing equipment.

The AIADMK member also urged the central government to resolve the issue around the Katchatheevu island, which was ceded to Sri Lanka.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said urgent action needed to be taken for the fishermen community who are losing their livelihood as the fish catch close to the shore was depleted, and the fishermen are forced to go into deep waters.

Tharoor said that Indian fishermen were also being arrested by Pakistan’s Navy and recently, Indian fishermen were taken in custody in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) of Diego Garcia, an archipelago of 55 islands in the Indian Ocean south of India.

“Fish stock near the shore has depleted, so fishermen go into deep waters. Modernisation of fishing infrastructure is urgently required,” he said.

Six fishermen from Thangachimadam in Ramanathapuram district were fishing near the Katchatheevu islet in the narrow sea dividing the two countries when they were fired at on Monday night, Indian officials said.

One fisherman, K. Britjo, was killed. Another who was injured was warded in a hospital in Tamil Nadu. The others escaped without injuries.

Colombo has denied that the Sri Lankan Navy was involved in the killing and promised a thorough probe in the incident. (IANS)

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500-Year-Old carpenter’s skull recovered from Henry VIII’s warship goes Online in 3D as Part of Mary Rose Project

The skull is part of a collection of 3D scans of human remains, shoes, and tools of the Mary Rose's crew

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Henry VIII's warship Mary Rose. Source: Wikimedia Commons

LONDON, September 7, 2016: A carpenter’s skull recovered from Henry VIII’s warship the Mary Rose, which sank in battle in 1545, can now be viewed in 3D online – allowing the public to see his bad teeth and a head wound.

The skull is part of a collection of 3D scans of human remains, shoes, and tools which people who cannot make it to the ship’s museum home can see on www.virtualtudors.org.

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The detailed, interactive images are part of a bigger scientific project on the website aimed at researchers working in the field of bone science.

Nine other Mary Rose skulls can be viewed by archaeologists, osteologists and forensic anthropologists who will take part in a study into the usefulness of 3D models to the world of science.

While experts identify historic features of the virtual images hidden to the layman, ordinary users can still zoom in on the carpenter’s eyebrow wound and rotate to the image to see his bad teeth.

Source: VOA
Source: VOA

He would have been on board to carry out repairs which occurred during battle, like the one against an invading French fleet in 1545 during which the Mary Rose sunk off the south coast of England.

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After hunting for years, divers discovered the wreck in 1971, along with over 19,000 artifacts and the bones of 179 of its crew, providing historians with an insight into Tudor life at sea.

The ship was raised from the seabed in 1982 and is now on display at a museum in Portsmouth.

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Satellites provide pointers, but no signs of Indian Air Force aircraft yet

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IAF AN-32 maximum speed is 530Kmph. Image Source: Indian Express
  • The missing aircraft, an upgraded AN-32 belonging to 33 Squadron, took off from Tambaram Air Force Station in Chennai at 8.30 a.m on Jul 22
  • Indigenous satellites have provided some pointers and ships are searching the indicated area, but nothing has been spotted
  • There is a possibility that in the Bay of Bengal there are several whirlpools that may have dragged down the debris

CHENNAI/NEW DELHI: An Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft which disappeared on Friday with 29 people on board remained missing on Sunday, July 24, despite an intensive search and rescue operation, codenamed ‘Operation Talash”, and some pointers were provided by indigenous satellites.

A senior defence ministry official said indigenous satellites have provided some pointers and ships are searching the indicated area, but nothing has been spotted.

The navy has pressed a flotilla of vessels including a submarine to locate the missing AN-32 which went off the radar two days ago over the Bay of Bengal just half hour after taking off from Chennai on its journey to Port Blairr.

There has been no trace of the plane or debris. There are also no signals from the transporter, officials said.

According to Indian Coast Guard, an international safety network was activated as part of the search and rescue procedures for alerting the merchant ships passing through the region.

The Coast Guard said ships like MV Harsh Vardhana enroute from Port Blair to Chennai, MV Sebat and MV Delice were directed to keep a sharp look out for survivors or debris.

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An experienced pilot of the Indian defence forces told IANS: “Normally it would take a week for the debris to float in such cases. But search and rescue operations have to be carried out.”

According to him, if the plane broke into several parts, then there may be a possibility of some debris floating.

But if it falls into the sea without breaking, then it may take nearly a week for some items to come to the surface from the sea depth.

“As per our calculations, the sea depth in the area of search is around 3,500 metres,” T.M. Balakrishnan Nair, Head, Information Services Group, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), told IANS over phone from Hyderabad.

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He said the organisation was running models estimating the distance to where the plane debris would have been carried by the sea current.

“In the Bay of Bengal there are several whirlpools that may have dragged down the debris,” he added.

Eastern Naval Command chief Vice Admiral H.C.S. Bisht said that a large number of ships, helicopters and aircraft are contributing to the search.

“We are also seeking ISRO’s help to get satellite imagery of that area so that we have at least some information… Parallelly we are also reaching out to families,” he said.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, after reviewing the search and rescue operations on Saturday, had asked the commanding officers to keep in touch with families of those on board the missing aircraft.

Bisht said the search has been made difficult by the monsoon weather conditions over the sea.

“The only challenge we are facing is of monsoon condition, rough seas; another challenge is the depth which is around 3,500 meters and at some points even more than that,” he said.

The cloud base is low and it is raining continuously in the area, he said.

“We are continuously searching the area. As of now we have 12 ships. We will be increasing the assets. We are also doing regular aerial surveillance. The aim is to harness as many resources as possible.”

The missing aircraft, an upgraded AN-32 belonging to 33 Squadron, took off from Tambaram Air Force Station in Chennai at 8.30 a.m. and was expected to land at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands at 11.30 a.m.

The recorded transcript of Chennai air traffic radar showed the last pickup of the aircraft was 151 nautical miles east of Chennai when it was observed to have carried out a left turn with rapid loss of height from 23,000 feet.

The AN-32 is a twin engine turboprop, medium tactical transport aircraft of Russian origin. It can carry a maximum load of around 6.7 tonnes or 39 paratroopers. Its maximum cruise speed is 530 kmph. (IANS)

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