Foreign agencies validate missing Coast Guard aircraft’s search area

Chennai, July 8 (IANS) The area of search for the missing Indian Coast Guard aircraft with three young crew members has been validated with expert agencies in a couple of foreign countries, an officer said on Wednesday.

“A request was sent from the Coast Guard headquarters for the probable location position of the missing aircraft to countries like the US, Canada, Australia and Japan,” Inspector General (Eastern region) Satya Prakash Sharma told IANS.

He said their indication of the position of the missing aircraft was similar to Coast Guard’s calculations.

He said Olympic Canon vessel from Reliance Industries Ltd. — with remotely operated equipment — will join the search operation on July 9.

Coast Guard’s Dornier aircraft with three crew members — all in their 30s — went missing on the night of June 8 while returning to the base after a regular surveillance sortie along the Tamil Nadu coast and Palk Bay.

The aircraft took off around 6 p.m. on June 8 and there has been no news about its whereabouts after that. An official statement said the last contact with the aircraft was made at 9 p.m. on that day.

The last known location of the aircraft as per the Trichy radar was off Karaikal in Puducherry, where it was tracked till 9.23 p.m., 95 nautical miles south of Chennai.

On June 9, the Coast Guard and the Indian Navy started search operations for the missing plane but has achieved no result so far.

The aircraft that was flying at around 9,000 feet dropped height of around 5,000 feet in a few seconds.

Asked if there was any possibility of the aircraft recovering and flying for some more distance, beyond the search area, the official said: “It is not possible for the aircraft to come out of the dive at the speed at which it dived down.

“Even if one considers that the aircraft to have flown below the radar level then it could not have flown for long distance owing to its speed and fuel levels,” he said.

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