In a major breakthrough in the multi-nation search and rescue operation, the Indian Navy has located the sunken Chinese fishing vessel, Lu Peng Yuan Yu 28, which is said to have been carrying 39 crew members when it sunk in the early hours of Tuesday in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
The Chinese deep-sea fishing vessel was carrying 17 Chinese, 17 Indonesians, and five Filipinos. It reportedly sank approximately 1660 kilometers south of Kanyakumari, the southern tip of the Indian peninsula.
Responding to the humanitarian crisis unfolding mid-sea, the Indian Navy deployed its most-potent maritime surveillance and submarine-hunting aircraft, the Boeing Poseidon(P8I).
It is capable of day and night operations, equipped with sophisticated sensors and technologies, and is meant for use in both offensive and defensive roles.
For more than a decade, the Indian Navy has been flying the P8I to carry out a wide range of operations including intelligence gathering, search and rescue, and anti-submarine warfare.
Operating out of the Naval air station INS Rajali in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu, the P8I aircraft carried out an extensive search in the suspected capsize area and located the capsizing fishing vessel.
The Indian Navy also relayed the location of the capsize to the Chinese Navy warships (People’s Liberation Army Navy) operating in the region.
“Subsequently, P8I also sighted the fishing vessel’s life raft and guided fishing vessel Lu Peng Yuan Yu 017 towards it. Indian Navy is on standby to provide any additional assistance to the ongoing SAR efforts” a spokesperson of Indian Navy said.
Chinese media reports say that the remains of two crew members of the sunken vessel had been found. However, the plight of the remaining 35 are still unknown.
A handful of nations in the Indian Ocean Region have been contributing to the search and rescue efforts. India and Australia have deployed aircraft for the search and rescue, China has deployed its fishing vessels and Naval ships, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia have also been coordinating in the ongoing operations.
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