Indian Army has launched Bison Blue Waters Expedition on March 22, from Agatti island in Lakshadweep. Major General Rajesh Singh, General Officer Commanding, Bison Division flagged off the expedition in the presence of civil and military officials, citizens and school children. Yacht Trishna is also part of this this expedition. Yacht Trishna has the distinction of sailing around the world with an all-army crew from September 1985 to January 1987.
- the six weeks expedition is being conducted in two phases.
- first phase: will be full of island based activities to increase the maritime awareness of the armed forces and to educate the local people to conserve the coral reefs in the island.
- second phase: the ‘Bisons’ will sail in yacht Trishna from Mumbai to Lakshadweep Islands and return via Kochi and Goa over a period of three weeks.
- the adventure team consists of six officers and fifty four other ranks of the elite Bison Division, an amphibious warfare formation of the Indian Army.
- the event started with a beach marathon by army personnel with active participation by local school children.
- thereafter the team demonstrated power rafting, scuba diving and para-motoring.
- the expedition team leader Col Vivek Jaswal said that the team was trained at the premier training institutes of the Indian Army.
- these events will also be held at Kavarati on March 24 and at Bangaram on March 26.
- a special drive would be organized on March 26 to make the youth aware about the recruitment procedures of the Armed Forces.
- a special medical camp would be organized for the benefit of the local population.
- the expedition team will also interact with the people of Lakshadweep Islands, spread awareness about the Army and the need to preserve the fragile ecology of their Islands.
- the expedition is bound to bring the local population closer to the men in uniform.
- representatives of the World Wildlife Fund India and National Geographic are also part of this expedition.
Yacht Trishna: Commemorative stamp from India Post.
More about yacht Trishna is here.
View an amazing photo web album of yacht Trishna from Picasa.
Post in MarineBuzz on this day a year before:
Update: March 24
View here an interesting video clip on launching of Bison Blue Waters Expedition.
Update: March 26
Indian army’s Bison Division created a unique record in flying on March 24, by covering two main islands of Lakshadweep by Para motor at a height of over 2000 feet. Ramvir Singh, an expert Para pilot covered 12 kilometres in 24 minutes from Agatti Island and has set a record of crossing two main islands through Para flying over the sea at such high altitude.
View an interesting video clip from Videos From India.
Update: March 28
Here are some photographs from Press Information Bureau, India.
A panoramic view of Para motoring in progress at Bison Blue Waters Expedition in Lakshadweep.
The Army personnel scuba diving during the ongoing Bison Blue Waters Expedition in Agatti, Lakshadweep.
View here one more interesting video clip on Bison Blue Waters Expedition.
Update: May 14
Bison Blue Waters Expedition has concluded.
The curtains have come down on the Bison Blue Waters Expedition 2009 which culminated at the Indian Navy Watermanship Training Centre in Mumbai. In a ceremony the yacht Trishna was flagged in by Lieutenant General AS Lamba, General Officer Commanding, Sudarshan Chakra Corps on its return from its three week blue water sail as a part of the Ocean Yachting Leg of the expedition. The yachting team was lead by Maj Venkatraman of 5 Engineer Regiment of the Bison Division. It is of interest to note that Trishna has the unique distinction of being the first Indian yacht to complete an around the world sailing expedition way back in 1987 with an Indian Army Team onboard.
Over a span of six weeks the Indian Army conducted the expedition in two legs the Island Hopping Leg and the Ocean Yachting Leg. The first leg saw the team spreading environmental awareness and carrying out activities like para motor flying, powered rafting, deep sea diving and beach marathon in the islands of Kavaratti, Bangaram and Agatti. The para motor team achieved the distinction of being the first Indian team to carry out an inter island flight between Agatti and Bangaram (a distance of 20 km) over the open seas. The powered rafting team validated ocean travel on pneumatic boats when it traversed the distance between Kavaratti and Agatti (approximately 58 km). The scuba diving team carried out day and night dives in virgin sites off the coast of Kavaratti, Agatti and Bangaram upto depths of 36 metres. This leg was immensely successful in increasing environmental awareness in the islands.
The second leg comprised of ocean yachting onboard sailing yacht Trishna from Mumbai to Cochin via Goa and back wherein the crew braved the approaching monsoons along the country’s western coast to traverse a total distance of 1160 nautical miles. The entire distance was covered in a period of three weeks by Trishna with a crew of eight on board.
This was the first time when an expedition of such varied activities has been undertaken by the armed forces to promote environmental awareness. This small step by the country’s armed forces promises to be a trend setter for more public awareness about growing ecological concerns like global warming which threaten to wipe out epitomes of biodiversity like the coral reefs of Lakshadweep.
The above is the press release from Press Information Bureau.
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