A Dornier aircraft of the Indian Navy on a routine night training sortie ditched at sea about 20 nautical miles South West of Goa on the night of 24 Mar 15. The Naval Air Station at Goa lost radar contact with the aircraft at 10:08 PM on 24 Mar 15. The aircraft is feared to have ditched soon thereafter. The aircrew onboard the aircraft comprised three officers (two Pilots and one woman Observer). One Survivor, Commander Nikhil Kuldip Joshi, was picked up by a passing fishing boat (Niharika – from a fishing hamlet off Karwar) and transferred to a naval Fast Interceptor Craft. He is presently in naval hospital ‘Patanjali’ at Karwar and is reported to be stable.
Eight Naval ships and four aircraft were immediately deployed to search the area to locate the remaining two officers. Presently, there are 12 ships (including two ships from Indian Coast Guard) and four aircraft involved in the SAR operations. The Next of Kin of the aircrew have been informed. Meanwhile, a Board of Inquiry has been ordered to establish the cause of the accident.
During the day Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff, flew down to Goa and took stock of the SAR operation. He also met the families of the aircrew and met Cdr NK Joshi at Karwar before returning to Delhi in the evening.
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