Back from their historic voyage to Mauritius: The all women naval crew

All woman naval crew

The all-women naval crew which created history with it’s maiden voyage to Mauritius, returned to Goa on Thursday. The  INSV Mhadei crew comprising of Sub Lieutenant Payal Gupta, Lieutenants P Swathi, Pratibha Jamwal, Vijaya Devi and B Aishwarya began their journey on the high seas from Visakhapatnam, sailed smoothly to Goa and then the Goa port on May 24,  finally to their ultimate destination to Mauritius. It reached Port Louis on June 14.

“The six-member team returned on Navy’s only ocean going sailboat ‘Mhadei’ after their successful voyage to Mauritius. The team, on their maiden and India’s first all-women crew ocean voyage covered a distance of over five thousand nautical miles through treacherous monsoon seas and heavy winds,” a Naval release stated, reported by NDTV.

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The women who sailed are  no doubt feeling triumphant. However they are aware that this was a preparation for a larger sailing expedition.  “The skipper Lt Cdr Vartika Joshi and her five member team were received by Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, the flag officer commanding-in-chief of the Western naval command. The all-women crew of ‘Mhadei’ are presently training to undertake a circumnavigation of the globe, a feat more demanding than climbing an Everest, in August 2017,” the release stated.

Further, this was also preparation for the next challenge, the South Atlantic Race, a transatlantic race that will commence on December 26, 2016. Each sailing vessels which would participate in the race would have to accommodate a minimum of four crew members.

Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, a naval architect by training, also the first female skipper of a naval vessel told to TOI, “Everyday is a new experience. Everyday we learnt something new and all this will help us for the Race to Rio.”

Also read: Special Feature: Women in Indian Armed Forces

“This is a historic and red letter day not for the navy alone but for maritime community too because of what the girls have achieved.  And it was not a smooth voyage. They faced winds of over 35 knots, five metre swells and low visibility. This showcases the spirit and courage of not just Naval women but Indian women”, vice admiral Western Naval Command Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Girish Luthra said.

Three cheers for the ladies! They just created Indian maritime history!

Feature Image Credit: www.prokerala.com

Read More Stories By Ria Das