Navy recovers two bodies from chopper wreckage off Vizag coast

Visakhapatnam:  Almost four days after a Naval helicopter, with four crew members on board, crashed into the sea off the Vizag coast in Andhra Pradesh, the rescue teams today retrieved bodies of a Lieutenant Commander and a sailor from the wreckage that landed at the depth of 60 metres.

The deceased were identified as Lieutenant Commander Pranav Likithi and sailor GS Sen, according to a release by the Eastern Naval Command.

Two other crew members had been rescued earlier and are recuperating at Naval hospital INHS Kalyani.

The Chetak 440 helicopter crashed into the sea about 10 nautical miles off the Visakhapatnam coast on Tuesday afternoon, soon after it took off from INS Dega at about 2 pm on a routine mission.

The rescue teams last night spotted the debris, strewn at a depth of 60 metres, along with the two bodies, at a distance of 8 miles south of Dolphin Light House, the release said.

The bodies were retrieved in the early hours today by the joint rescue teams.

Soon after the crash, an extensive search and rescue operation was launched from the sea and air by the Navy, along with the Coast Guard, Port authorities and Marine Police.

The Navy had already ordered a Board of Inquiry to establish the cause of the accident.

A multi-purpose offshore chartered vessel 'Olympic Canyon' was also roped in with its Remote Operating Vehicle for salvaging operations.

Meanwhile, bodies of Mr Likithi and Mr Sen were sent for post-mortem to the state-run King George Hospital, the release said.
Story First Published: March 09, 2013 19:43 IST

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