INS Sindhurakshak tragedy: How 3 sailors narrowly escaped a watery grave

Aug 17, 2013, 09:46 IST | Iram Siddique

They were saved by the skin of their teeth. Read the terrifying account of the three survivors who managed to get away from INS Sindhurakshak within a split second of the explosion.

Hopes faded for the rest of the 18 sailors as five bodies were found from INS Sindhurakshak yesterday.

Illustration/Amit Bandre



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Three officers were fortunate, as they escaped a watery grave when two of them jumped into the water after hearing the first explosion and the other officer ran across the gangway. These are the tales of their survival.

Vashist Prasad Yadav

Name: Vashist Prasad Yadav
Duration of service: 12 years
Post: Petty Officer Mechanical Engineer
Yadav was on duty on the surface of the submarine. He was waiting for another sailor to relieve him of his duty when he heard the first blast. Yadav, who was at the tail-end of the submarine, immediately jumped into the water. Minutes after he dove in, the second explosion took place, engulfing the submarine in flames.
Yadav swam as far as he could from the submarine to save himself.


Name: Kushwaha
Duration of service: Five years
Post: Leading Seaman
Officer Kushwaha, a leading seaman, also called the quartermaster, was at the front of the submarine at the time of the incident. Kushwaha, who was on duty, was keeping an eye on the surroundings, when he suddenly heard the blast. Panicked, he jumped into the sea and swam away from the submarine. Later, rescue officials provided him with medical aid and took him to the hospital. With his family by his side, Kushwaha is recuperating after doctors found water in his lungs.


Name: Gosain
Duration of service: Three years
Post: Mechanical Engineer
Gosain was on duty on the surface of the submarine near the gangway. The tremors of the first explosion were felt across the entire length of the submarine. A terrified Gosain ran across the gangway to get to the jetty. However, it took him time to run across the 15-metre long gangway and just as he was about to get to safety, the second blast occurred causing Gosain to fly across the gangway and land on the jetty. The sailor, who suffered minor injuries to his back, hands
and neck is now recuperating.

Five bodies found
The ‘severely disfigured’ bodies of five sailors were recovered yesterday from the submarine, which sank on Wednesday with 18 men. The Navy declared that finding any survivor was unlikely. “Efforts to trace and retrieve the other 13 bodies of sailors are underway and we are hopeful of recoveries by late this evening,” an official said. 

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