Oz navy ship arrives in Kochi for 5-day visit

Three services conduct joint drill off Goa and Karwar coasts


Australian Navy Ship HMAS Ballarat, commanded by Commander Paul Andrew Johnson, arrived Friday on a five-day visit to Kochi.

The Commanding Officer called on Rear Admiral R J Nadkarni, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command and discussed subjects of common interest to both the navies.

The Chief of Staff conveyed his gratitude to the Commanding Officer for the assistance rendered by HMAS Ballarat for locating and rendering medical assistance to Commander Abhilash Tomy during the search and rescue mission coordinated by the Royal Australian Navy, a Defence release said here.

Cdr Abhilash Tomy while on sea voyage in his sail-boat ‘Thuraya’ in southern Indian Ocean had encountered rough seas on September 21 following which his vessel had got demasted while he himself suffered severe back injury.

During the stay at Kochi, various activities such as professional interaction and friendly volleyball match between the two navies have been planned, the release said.

“India’s bilateral relations with Australia are rooted in historical social and cultural interactions and extensive people-to-people contact.

The cooperation between the two navies is in pursuance of India’s Act East policy and is aimed to enhance interoperability,” the release said.

The HMAS Ballarat is set to sail for Manama on November 13.