Chennai: An Indian Coast Guard’s Dornier aircraft (CG-791) with three crew members on board has been missing since Monday from the coast of Chennai, according to the defence ministry. A search operation has been launched to trace the missing aircraft.“One Indian Coast Guard Dornier aircraft on a routine surveillance sortie over sea, off Chennai coast, is overdue since 10 pm hour last night. Search and Rescue (SAR) on,” Sitanshu Kar, principal spokesperson of ministry of defence wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
The missing Dornier aircraft was inducted into the Indian Coast Guard in 2014, and was being flown by a highly experienced crew, according to the spokesperson. In a statement on Tuesday, Indian Coast Guard said the aircraft was deployed for surveillance along the Tamil Nadu coast and Palk Bay and took off from the Coast Guard air station in Chennai last evening but failed to return to base. “On receipt of the information, massive search and rescue efforts have been launched by utilising all available surface and aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy. Five coast guard ships, four naval ships along with Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy aircraft including long range maritime surveillance aircraft P-81 are undertaking SAR (search and rescue) operations in the area,” it said.