A day after Malaysian authorities requested help in locating the Beijing-bound jetliner missing for a week now, India sent three warships, two Air Force planes, an Air Force chopper and at least three naval and coast guard surveillance planes to the designated search area in South Andaman Sea about 270 nautical miles from Port Blair. The Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 had vanished from radars over the South China Sea just a few hours after it took off from Kuala Lumpur last Friday. It is now believed to have gone down in the South Andaman Sea or the Gulf of Thailand waters.
“Naval offshore patrol vessel INS Saryu, large amphibious warship INS Kesari and medium amphibious warship INS Kumbhir have sailed out of Port Blair and Campbell Bay to the search area,” a Navy spokesperson said.
The search operation has been codenamed ‘Search Light’, Defence Ministry sources said. “The Navy has been designated as the lead service for the search operations. Andaman and Nicobar tri-service command chief Air Marshal P K Roy is the force commander,” sources added. A meeting to finalise the coordinates of the search was expected to be convened at Port Blair by Thursday evening.