Medical Evacuation Undertaken by Southern Naval Command Using Civil Hired Vessel, Lonavala
On 24 May 2019, the Director of Medical Sciences, Indira Gandhi Hospital, Androth, in Lakshadweep & Minicoy (L&M) islands contacted the naval base, INS Dweeprakshak with a request for undertaking Medical Evacuation of a 23 year old pregnant patient from Androth to Kavaratti Island. Due to complications the lady was required to undergo caesarean surgery which could not be undertaken at Androth due to lack of facilities.
As the Island Helicopter (Pawan Hans) was non-operational, the movement of patient could not be undertaken by Air. Naval Officer In Charge (L&M), INS Dweeprakshak and Naval Detachment, Androth coordinated with Southern Naval Command (SNC) and Civil Administration for undertaking this medical evacuation. MV Triton Liberty, a civil hired vessel under SNC which was at Kavaratti, was directed, post cancellation of its ongoing naval operational tasking, to proceed at maximum speed to Androth for evacuating the patient.
The patient along with the medical staff and escorts were embarked onboard MV Triton Liberty at 2100 hrs on 24 May 2019 and disembarked at Kavaratti at 0400 hrs on 25 May 2019. The patient underwent surgery at 0600 hrs and was blessed with a baby girl. SNC had conducted a similar evacuation by Naval Helicopter flown from Kochi to Kavaratti for a Comatose female patient on 16 May 2019.
MPV triton liberty is a vessel hired by the Indian Navy for logistics support of L&M islands. It was introduced into the Navy on 15 March 2019 and has completed more than 10 sorties to L&M till date. It has a length of 58.7mtrs, breadth 14.6mtrs and has a bollard pull capacity of 65 Tons. It can carry cargo of 1350 tons at 4.5mtrs draft and has a maximum speed of 12 knts i.e approx 20 kmph. The vessel with advanced firefighting system can also be employed for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief operations at sea. Integration of the vessel would relieve the naval ships from logistics support duties for role specific operations.