Indian Navy's second expedition to the Mount Everest was today flagged off by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba, 50 years after the peak was first scaled by Navy climbers.
A group of 24 climbers from ships, submarines and aircraft squadrons of the Indian Navy are part of the expedition, titled 'Sagar Tal se Sagar Matha (from Seabed to Summit)'.
The ceremonial 'Ice Axe' with the Naval Ensign was taken to the bottom of sea by diving off the coast of Karwar and now it shall be taken to the highest point on Earth. It depicts Navy's efforts to soar from depths of Ocean to the Summit, said a senior Navy official.
The Indian Navy's association with the Himalayas dates back to 1965 when Capt MS Kohli of Indian Navy led the first successful Indian expedition atop the world's highest peak.
In 2004, the first all Navy expedition was flagged off from Indian Navy Submarine Sindhuraj at 50 metres below the sea and went on to plant the Naval Ensign at 8,848 metres.
The 24 climbers have been selected for the mission after a grueling selection process over the last two years.
"The expedition marks the grand revival by Indian Navy of promoting mountaineering as an adventure sport and to also commemorate 50 years of first Indian ascent by Captain MS Kohli," said the Navy official.
In preparing the climbers for the expedition, the Navy has conducted expeditions to various peaks in the country over the past two years.