Navy in search of 2 missing officers after Dornier aircraft crashes off Goa coast

25 March 2015

The Indian Navy has started a full scale search and rescue operation after a maritime surveillance aircraft with two officers crashed south-west of the Goa coast, around 10 pm on Wednesday.

The Dornier aircraft, which was on a routine training sortie, crashed about 25 nautical miles south-west of the Goa coast and the Navy has mounted a full scale search for the two of the three officers on board who are yet to be traced.

One of the officers has been rescued even as the Navy mounted a full-scale search and rescue operation involving nine ships and a few aircraft.

''One survivor has been rescued. Search is on to locate two more officers - a pilot and an observer,'' Navy spokesperson Captain D K Sharma said in New Delhi.

The rescued officer, Commander Nikhil Joshi, has been seriously injured in the crash but is stable, Sharma said.

The two missing officers include a lady officer of the rank of the Lieutenant who was the observer on the Dornier.

The Naval air station at Goa lost communication with the aircraft at 10.02 pm, a statement from Navy said.

The plane was on a routine training sortie around 10 pm when the incident took place. Preliminary findings indicate that the plane developed some technical problems after which it plunged into the sea.

The Navy has ordered a Board of Inquiry into the crash.

Navy chief Admiral R K Dhowan has rushed to Goa to take stock of the situation.

The Indian Navy has been going through tough times with a series of disasters hitting its fleet and officers over the past two years.

The Navy lost 18 sailors in August 2013 when INS Sindhurakshak burst into flames in Mumbai harbour and a torpedo recovery vessel sank off Visakhapatnam a few months back, leaving five dead.

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