Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day address on Wednesday, hailed the all-women Indian Navy team that successfully circumnavigated the globe on board the INSV Tarini.
The “daughters of our country” returned home after spreading the hues of the tricolour across the oceans of the world, the prime minister said from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi.
The six-member crew, on board the INSV Tarini, spent 194 days at sea as part of a mission that began on September 10 last year.
“My dear fellow Indians, we are today celebrating Independence Day at a time when our daughters from Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have sailed the seven seas and returned home after splashing the oceans with the hues of the tricolour,” Modi said.
Lt Cdr Vartika Joshi skippered the mission, traversing through the Indian, the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, along with Lt Cdr Pratibha Jamwal and Lt P Swathi, Lt Vijaya Devi, Lt B Aishwarya and Lt Payal Gupta.
The ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ was flagged off by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman near the Panaji coast.
President Ram Nath Kovind has approved Nao Sena (Gallantary) Medal for the six women crew members of the Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Tarini, who circumnavigated the globe, braving treacherous seas and displaying “raw courage”.
The mission witnessed several gut-wrenching moments like when the INSV Tarini negotiated the choppy waters off the Cape Horn, often dubbed as ‘the graveyard of ships’ owing to the dangerous seas conditions in the Pacific Ocean in January, she was overtaken by a cold front with winds gusting up to 130 kilometres per hour.
The turbulent weather caused 10-metre-high waves to come crashing down onto the boat, the Navy had said in a statement.
The expedition was covered in five legs, with stopovers at 4 ports—Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands), and Cape Town (South Africa).
INSV Tarini is a 55-ft sailing vessel, which has been built indigenously, and inducted in the Indian Navy last year.
In his speech, Modi also lauded the triumph of young tribals from India, who have successfully scaled Mount Everest.