Rough sea hits Navy search for missing men

Divers may be sent to the sunken ship as hopes fade

Rough sea hits Navy search for missing men

The search for four missing Navy personnel on-board the ill-fated ship TRV A-72 has run into rough weather because of a low atmospheric pressure zone over the Bay of Bengal.

The search area lies about 80 nautical miles south-south west of Visakhapatnam where nine naval ships and four types of aircraft were continuously looking for a sign of the four missing men since the sinking of  the naval vessel on Thursday.

Formation of a low pressure zone in the same area has hit the search and rescue operations. Due to drop in atmospheric pressure, the wind speed increased to 30-40 km per hour. It is expected to continue for next 24 hours.

“Sea condition would be moderate to rough along and off the Andhra Pradesh coast during next the 24 hours. Rainfall is expected,” Indian Meteorological Department said in an alert on Saturday.

As hope fades, the Navy may send divers to the sunken ship to check if the missing men are trapped inside the boat, which is now lying on the sea bed at a depth of 370 mts.

However, there is no official confirmation on this move yet.At the time of the sinking, the naval vessel had 29 personnel on board, including six scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation. Sailor James Jacob lost his life during the rescue operation whereas four personnel — one officer, two divers and one crew member – are still missing. The remaining 24 personnel were safely brought ashore.

The naval vessels on the search operation are INS Ranjit, INS Sahyadri, INS Shivalik, INS Shakti, INS Vinash, INS Sumitra, INS Sandhyak, INS Karmuk and INS Nirikshak. In addition, Navy’s P8I and Dornier surveillance aircraft and Sea King 42C with night vision and Chetak helicopters are flying day and night looking for the men.

No missing personnel have been found till Saturday afternoon but one video camera and two life jackets (belonging to TRV 72) were recovered on Friday from the search area, said an official.

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