No clue about missing Coast Guard aircraft

Chennai, June 20 (IANS) The search for an Indian Coast Guard Dornier plane that went missing along with three crew members aboard entered 12th day on Saturday with no clue about its whereabouts, officials said.

The plane went missing on June 8 and a search operation is underway since then to trace it.

In a statement issued here, the Coast Guard said that sustained efforts to search and locate the missing aircraft are continuing round-the-clock by ships and aircraft.

“Sea bed profiling by NIOT (National Institute of Ocean Technology) Research Vessel Sagar Nidhi was carried out for 48 hours in the most probable area. However, no significant leads could be obtained from the bottom search,” said the Coast Guard.

According to the Coast Guard, Reliance Industries Ltd has provided its multifunctional support vessel Olympic Canyon with integrated remotely operated vehicle (ROV) free of cost on humanitarian grounds.

The ROV is equipped with echo sounder and remotely operated underwater camera with projector lights, which enables it conduct underwater searches besides capturing the video footage of the area.

The Dornier aircraft with three crew members — all in their 30s — went missing on June 8 night while returning to the base after a regular surveillance sortie.

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

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