CROSSING the 500 mark this year, 515 swimmers lined up at Prongs Reef in Colaba in the early hours of Thursday, the 17 November 16. The thrill of the six kilometer long Annual Navy Day Open Sea Swimming Competition 2016 has led to a consistent increase in the number of participants each year. This year in Men category Mr. Ramesh Dinghe Tamtta and in women category Ms. Siddhi Jitendra Khetwal are the fastest swimmers and bagged first prizes.
The stringent qualifying norms of this niche event, which is conducted under the FINA (Federation Internationale de Nation) rules, have ensured a high quality competition comparable with the best international level competitions. Swimming Federation of India (SFI) and Maharashtra State Amateur Aquatic Association (MSAAA) representatives and timekeepers ensured a professional conduct of the event. Every participant was required to have some swimming experience and be medically fit to participate. The competition is conducted in ten different categories namely girls (14-16 years), boys(14-16 years), men(16-50 years), women(16-50 years), veterans men (above 50 years), veterans women (above 50 years), differently abled (Deaf & Dumb) men, differently abled (Deaf & Dumb)women, differently abled (Physically Handicapped) men and differently abled (Physically Handicapped) women and is keenly contested. The Open Sea Swimming Competition has provided a unique platform to prepare Indian swimmers for international sea swimming events. Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh, NM Chief of Staff, Headquarter Western Naval Command was the chief guest for the event and gave away the prizes.
From wee hours of 17 November 16 Naval Officers and sailors of the Western Naval Command began to work hard to make this a successful event. The Indian Navy ensured a fool proof safety net for the competition with 35 boats, 50 divers and life guards apart from a naval helicopter and other volunteers. A continuous medical cover was provided till the completion of the event at the Naval Sailing Club.