Thursday, June 11, 2015

Submarine joins search for missing plane off India

11 June 2015
Chennai, India:  With still no signs of a Dornier aircraft of the Coast Guard, which went missing with three crew members on Monday night, a submarine is now heading towards the Tamil Nadu coast to join search operations.

The submarine and two other highly-specialised ships with Sound Navigation And Ranging (SONAR) technology will scan for debris under the water.

"These submarines have under water search capabilities which would make it much easier to locate if there's any debris below the sea," SP Sharma, Commander Coast Guard Region (East) told NDTV.

The Navy and Coast Guard have extended their search by around 125 kilometres from the coast off Karaikal to Chennai. "The wind movement is towards this side and we've positioned ourselves here so we could locate any wreckage that may move this way," Mr Sharma added.

Fifteen ships belonging to both the Coast Guard and the Indian Navy are already a part of the search mission, in addition to the advanced Boeing Poseidon P81 surveillance aircrafts, which are known for their maritime surveillance capability.

The Dornier that took off from Chennai on Monday evening was last tracked 16 kilometres east off Chidambaram coast by radar in Trichy. The surveillance aircraft was on a regular sortie to monitor the Tamil Nadu coast and the Palk Bay.

The aircraft was being flown by Deputy Commandant Vidyasagar and had on board Deputy Commandant MK Soni, the co-pilot, and Navigator Deputy Commandant Subash Suresh.

The Director General of Coast Guard, Vice Admiral HCS Bisht today reviewed search operations and also visited the families of the missing personnel.

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