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In a first, 2 women officers run hovercraft

CHENNAI: When hovercraft H-197 took off from the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Mandapam station — off the Rameswaram coast — towards Chennai, instructed by a team of 2 girls squadrons on Wednesday morning, it created a record of sorts. The captain and her co-pilot turned into the primary girls squadrons helm a hovercraft.

The adventure of 300 nautical miles that in most cases takes a day, from Mandapam to Chennai by the use of Karaikal, took two days due to inclement weather, and the hovercraft, which is an air-cushion car (ACV), reached Chennai at 1.21pm on Friday.

“On Wednesday, we reached Karaikal by 1pm. Due to turbulent seas and weather on Thursday, shall we not start our adventure, as a substitute began on Friday at 7am,” mentioned Anuradha Shukla, captain of the hovercraft, who has been in service for nine years and is from Lucknow. Her co-pilot was deputy commandant Shirin Chandran. While they instructed the hovercraft, there were 10 male sailors on board. Anuradha and Shirin had been among the first four girls officers to be educated to operate ACVs in 2017. Anuradha has turn into the primary woman captain of craft within the eastern region of the ICG.

The hovercraft is able to travelling on water, sand, marshy space, ice, dust, and asymmetric surfaces. They operate by making a cushion of high-pressure air between the hull of the vessel and the outside beneath.

“For the past two years, girls squadrons were co-pilots of the hovercraft. It’s the primary time that both the captain and the co-pilot had been girls. It came about to achieve the Chennai shore on March 8 - the International Women’s Day,” mentioned a senior officer.

Speaking about their experience, Anuradha mentioned it takes just right psychological energy to be on the sea. “One needs to be able to stand turbulence and unhealthy weather,” she mentioned.

Shirin described it an exciting and difficult experience. “We needed to undergo coaching for nine months, including aptitude, fundamental and complex coaching that readies us for the problem,” mentioned the Palakkad resident.

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