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Reliance’s vessel joins search for missing Coast Guard plane

Dornier aircraft

Chennai: A remotely operated vessel, provided by Reliance Industries, has joined operation to locate Coast Guard’s Dornier aircraft which is missing since June 8 and commenced underwater search in the ‘most probable area’ off Tamil Nadu coast.

The state-of-the-art multi-functional support vessel integrated with Remotely Operated Vehicle, “provided by Reliance Industries free of cost as a noble gesture towards humanitarian cause of search and rescue,” commenced the search from yesterday “in the most probable area,” a CG release said.

“Olympic Canyon is equipped with Echo Sounder and remotely operated underwater camera with projector lights which enable it to conduct underwater search besides capturing the video footage of the area,” the release said today.

The plane with three crew members went missing on June 8 along Tamil Nadu’s coastline during a routine maritime surveillance sortie and since then extensive search has been underway by various agencies including Navy to locate it.

Recently, Coast Guard Inspector General S P Sharma had said the probable area would be 95 nautical miles south east of Chennai and 16 miles off Chidambaram coast.

A Naval submarine had earlier picked up intermittent signals from the aircraft’s sonar locating beacon which was first established by research vessel Sagar Nidhi provided by National Institute of Ocean Technology.

Meanwhile, Coast Guard said submarine INS Sindhudhwaj has been deployed on departure of vessel Sagar Nidhi.

“Sagar Nidhi had carried out search operations for 48 hours in the “most probable area”. However, no significant leads could be obtained from the bottom search”, it said.

Sustained efforts to search and locate the missing Aircraft continue round the clock by ships and aircraft of Coast Guard and Indian Navy for more than 10 days.

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