Underwater search operation for missing IAF AN-32 aircraft terminated

The operation was launched after the IAF transport aircraft went missing along with 29 crew on July 22 with 29 crew.

Published: 03rd October 2016 09:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd October 2016 09:27 PM   |  A+A-


A file photo for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The underwater search operation of Indian Air Force transport aircraft AN-32, that went missing along with 29 crew on July 22, has been terminated.
Official sources told Express that the underwater search by National Institute of Ocean Technology was suspended after the remotely operated Underwater vehicle, which has taken a long break for more
than two years suffered technical glitches.
“The ROV was used to conduct searches in three possible underwater locations after Geological Survey of India vessel Samudra Ratnakar zeroed in on 15 possible locations after conducting survey using
multi-beam echo sounder and side scan sonar,” said sources.
“The ROV did dip twice but during the third dip it developed tethering problems as such we could not maneuver it properly,” said sources.
The issue with ROV was that it is not an industrial version which could be used for commercial purpose. It is basically for research and development purpose. It also had tethering issues.
“Even we did not have required spares for the ROV. The other reasons for terminating the underwater search operations was due to rough weather as North east monsoon has set it besides Sagarnidhi has been on sea for a long time,” the sources said.
Sources said that Sagarnidhi would be busy with scientific schedules and would go back for search operations once the ROV gets ready.
However, no details were given on when the search operation would resume.


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