Crash of Pawan Hans Helicopter

Crash of Pawan Hans Helicopter 
At about 1915 hrs on November 04, 2015, Coast Guard Dornier aircraft on routine surveillance off Mumbai coast received a distress message regarding ditching of one Pawan Hans Helicopter with 02 crew onboard in position 80 nautical miles west of Mumbai inside Offshore Development Area. The Coast Guard aircraft proceeded towards the position and simultaneously relayed the information to Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Ship Subhadra Kumari Chauhan and other vessels operating in the area.
Within a short span of time, one Coast Guard Dornier, 01 ICG Ship, 02 IN Ships and 03 Offshore Support Vessels (OSV) reached the area and commenced search for the crew. The distress message was also received at the same time by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (Mumbai) who promptly commenced coordination of the search and rescue efforts with all agencies. During the night 01 ICG Ship from Mumbai and 01 ICG ship with integral helo from Porbandar have been sailed to augment the search efforts. Additional OSV's have also been pressed into service by ONGC for the search. Some debris of the aircraft have been recovered.

Presently, 03 ICG Ships, 01 Coast Guard Dornier, 03 IN Ships, 05 OSV's and 01 Diving Support Vessel are undertaking search operation in the area for survivors. 

India-Russia Joint Army Exercise Indra-2015 in Bikaner to Focus on Counter Terrorism 
Indian and Russian Armies would be conducting a joint military exercise as a part of a continuing series of annual joint exercises under the banner ‘Exercise INDRA-2015’. A 250 member strong Russian Army contingent would arrive in Bikaner for INDRA-2015 for the joint exercise to be held with the Indian Army from 07 November to 20 November 2015. Exercise INDRA-2015 is the seventh edition in a series of bilateral exercises under this banner. The joint exercise this year would focus on ‘Counter Terrorism Operations in Desert Terrain under a United Nations Mandate’.

To achieve inter operability in joint operations in the future, troops from an Independent Russian Motorised Brigade and Indian Army’s Infantry Battalion would initially acquaint themselves with the approach to such operations, Command and Control systems as well as arms and equipment of each other. The joint training would also focus on ensuring a high degree of physical fitness, tactical drills, techniques and procedures. A comprehensive training program for a period of four weeks has been worked out for the same. During the exercise, participants will engage in variety of missions including joint planning, Cordon and Search operations, Search and Rescue, joint tactical drills and special arms skills.

The exercise would be conducted in two phases, namely ‘Combat Conditioning & Tactical Training’ and ‘Validation’ phases. The exercise would be witnessed by senior Indian as well as Russian Generals. The broadened and unprecedented scope of the exercise stands as a testimony to the deep and mature, ‘people to people’ as well as ‘military to military’ ties between Russia and India. 

Search and Rescue Operation for Ditched Pawan Hans Ltd Helicopter at Sea 
At about 07:15 PM on 04 November 2015, MaritimeRescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), Mumbai received information from Coast GuardDornier on surveillance sortie off Offshore Development Area (ODA) aboutditching of Pawan Hans Limited Helicopter. Dauphin make (AS 365 N3) helicopter, with two pilots onboard, ditched into the sea nearan ONGC oil platform named ‘SLQ’ located about 80 Miles west of Mumbai. There were no passengers on board.

On receipt of information, MRCC of IndianCoast Guard alerted all mariners and concerned organisations leading toresponse by all stake holders. The Offshore Supply Vessels of ONGC andImmediate Support Vessels (T50 and T48) of Indian Navy immediately rushed to the location andcommenced search for survivors. During the search the vessels picked up debrisof the ditched helicopter. Coast Guard Dornier ex-Daman continuing the search inarea and one Seaking 42C helicopter of the Indian Navy was launched for nightsearch.

One navaldestroyer (with integral helicopter) and two Coast Guard ships at sea were diverted to area and commenced search in the night. Ahelicopter carrying ship ex-Porbandar is also being sailed with dispatch toreach the area.

A coordinated search by Indian Navy and Coast Guard ships and aircrafts and divers iscurrently in progress to locate the survivors and debris. Debris located are being collected and investigated.

As of 12:00 PM today the whereabouts of the pilots is still unknown. 

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