CHENNAI — A sonar-equipped Naval survey ship has picked up signals from the ill-fated Coast Guard Dornier aircraft that went missing with three crew members on board on June 8 along the Tamil Nadu coast.
"INS Sandhyak has detected intermittent Tx, likely to be from the SLB of the missing aircraft. A multi-coloured oil seen in concentric circles indicating oozing of oil in area under focus," tweeted Sitanshu Kar, Principal Spokesperson, Ministry of Defence.
Test reports had found no trace of aviation fuel in water samples from a suspected oil spill in the sea, reported NDTV.
"INS Sandhyak undertaking sub-surface search, detected intermittent transmission of 37.5 Khz, likely to be from the Sonar Locator Beacon (SLB) of the missing aircraft. The transmission is around the position where the Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar had lost contact of the aircraft. Submarine INS Sindhudhvaj is likely to arrive in the area late in the evening for further augmentation of sub-surface search," said a statement from the defence ministry, posted on Facebook.
'Sandhayak' began operations in the Karaikkal-Cuddalore coastline on the intervening night of June 11-12. The ship's sonar sent signals deep into the ocean and has picked up signals from the aircraft.
"Further tests are being done to get a more precise location of the missing aircraft," Sharma said, but did not elaborate.
The Dornier aircraft went missing on June 8 after a routine maritime surveillance sortie along the Tamil Nadu coast. It lost contact with air traffic control after 9.23 PM on that day, following which a massive search operation was launched with the involvement of multiple state and central agencies. (With inputs from PTI)