CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Police has left world book of records By completing the longest sailing expedition in the world (540 nautical miles) by a civilian police force from Chennai to Rameswaram and back to Chennai.
Eight sailors from the Royal Madras Yacht Club and 23 sailors from the Coastal Protection Group participated in the expedition, which began on July 9 and ended on July 17, 2022. He sailed the J80 class boats.
“This is the first time in the county that the Marine Police has forayed into sailing. Other states have yet to start. It is a matter of pride to make it into a world record,” said Vivek Shanbhag, Honorary Secretary of the J/80 class association
This was done to showcase the capabilities of the Marine Police and to generate intelligence among the fishermen and to make them aware about the Coastal Security Group toll free number 1093. Its aim was to create a safe and secure sea on the eastern coast of Tamil. Starting from Nadu till the entire Tamil Nadu coast.
Tamil Nadu has a coastline of about 1000 kms and CSG, TN Police is responsible for its guarding. The Director General of Police, C Silendra Babu had a vision for sailing expeditions and the Royal Madras Yacht Club which is more than 110 years old and located inside the Chennai harbour, was involved.
The club is the only one in the country to have J/80 yachts that are certified offshore. Around 23 Marine Police were first selected who could swim and run well. He underwent a rigorous sailing training program and his skills were honed to the required level.
Expedition leader Captain Vivek Shanbhag planned the route and Chennai Rameswaram Chennai was selected for the expedition.
“A road reconnaissance was also conducted and safe landing points were selected, a boating reconnaissance was also conducted till Karaikal. The weather was studied and the dates finalized. The event was flagged off early in the morning on July 9, and the route was Chennai – Cuddalore – Karaikal – Pirappan – Mandapam via Rameswaram,” Shanabhag said.
Despite all the preparations, on the first day, when they were going from Chennai to Cuddalore, a distance of about 60 kms, around 8 o’clock, one of the ropes of the main sail broke in the other boat.
“The main sail had to roll over and the crew radioed me. They were told to sail on the jib sail with the help of an outboard motor if necessary. The Coast Guard was informed to be on alert. The boat instead of Cuddalore Was asked to shorten and reach Puducherry port. A powerful motorboat from Puducherry was also put on alert to tow if needed. The boat eventually left for Puducherry at low speed and reached on its own at 4 a.m. She was quickly repaired and made seaworthy. The sailors really showed strength and resilience,” Shanbhag said.
While most of the weather was not an issue with clear skies, the toughest stretch for them was on the third day, from Karaikal to Pirappan, when strong winds of 25 to 30 knots and huge roller waves near Point Calimere were in danger. “Those 24 hours of sailing tested us a lot. Luckily, we got through it,” Shanbhag said.
The sailors were well received by the Collector, local administration, Coast Guard at each landing point. According to a press release from the National J/80 Class Association, the expedition has instilled tremendous confidence in the Marine Police who are eager to go on longer expeditions. , “CSG of TN Police has been recognized by the World Book of Records, London for the longest sailing expedition by a civilian police force. Captain Vivek Shanbhag is planning an international sailing expedition in January 2023, soon after the monsoon ends. The vision is to popularize offshore sailing in the Bay of Bengal and beyond,” the press statement read.