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Naval sub begins underwater search for missing Dornier plane


Chennai: Naval submarine INS Sindhudhvaj has begun underwater search along the Tamil Nadu coastline to trace the missing Coast Guard Dornier aircraft even as an expert team started scouring the area to locate the plane’s cockpit voice data recorder.

“Submarine INS Sindhudhvaj arrived in the area (coastline in Karikkal-Cuddalore region) late yesterday and commenced underwater search,” a Coast Guard statement here said.

The search is to confirm the transmission of 37.5 Khz from sonar locator beacon of the missing aircraft, reported by INS Sandhayak on June 12, it said, adding, the “outcome of submarine search is expected by late evening”.

“In order to provide further fillip to the search, ICGS Vigraha has embarked with a National Institute of Oceanography (NIOT) team and a black box detector. The search probe will be lowered at sea for reception of the signal from the beacon of the aircraft,” the statement said.

Inspector General S P Sharma, Commander, Coast Guard (East), Chennai, told PTI that the missing aircraft is equipped with a cockpit voice data recorder.

“Our team of four scientists is on board a Coast Guard ship to help locate the cockpit voice data recorder of the missing plane,” Director of Chennai-based NIOT, M A Atmanand said.

Meanwhile, the search for the missing aircraft and its three-member crew by CG and Naval ships and aircraft continued for the sixth consecutive day today.

Eight ships and aircraft of CG and Navy have been deployed for the search with the Coast Guard and naval aircraft logging in 124 hours in the operations.

National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad was requested by the Coast Guard to provide it the satellite imagery for analysis of the area for possible location of the aircraft.

“NRSC has intimated presence of cloud cover in the most probable area precluding detection of any object on sea surface. Second imagery by the microwave satellite is scheduled today evening,” the statement added.

The Coast Guard Dornier plane went missing on June 8 along Tamil Nadu’s coastline during a routine maritime surveillance sortie. The aircraft had taken off from here.

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