The Navy operates its 12 P-8I aircraft from Arakkonam, near Chennai. From there, the P-8Is fly 900 nautical miles (Nm) to the incident site, search the area for 4 hours and then return to base
By Vikas Gupta
Defence News of India, May 18, 2023
In a drama set in the turbulent waters of the Indian Ocean, the Indian Navy has mobilized to rescue a Chinese fishing boat that sank in bad weather in the southern Indian Ocean. So far, despite the best efforts of several rescue agencies, none of the 39 crew and fishermen on board the boat have been sighted or rescued.
The Chinese fishing boat sank about 900 nautical miles (1,650 kilometers) from the Indian coast. This places it at the latitude of Diego Garcia and the Seychelles.
Considering the long distance to the nearest land, the Indian Navy has deployed its state-of-the-art Boeing P-8I Poseidon long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft which has the endurance to reach the location of the ‘incident.
“In a swift humanitarian action on May 17, the Indian Navy deployed its air and sea reconnaissance assets to the southern Indian Ocean region approximately 900 nautical miles (Nm) from India, in response to the sinking of a ship Chinese fishing. Lu Peng Yuan Yu 028with 39 crew members on board,” the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Thursday.
“The crew includes nationals of China, Indonesia and the Philippines. The P-8I aircraft conducted multiple and thorough searches despite adverse weather conditions and located several items that may belong to the sunken vessel,” the ministry said. of the defense.
The Indian Navy operates its fleet of 12 P-8I aircraft from the INS Rajali Naval Air Base, located at Arakkonam, near Chennai. From there, the P-8I aircraft flies 900 nautical miles (Nm) to the incident site, searches the area for 4 hours, and then returns to base.
However, naval sources say the location and rescue of all fishermen has so far been impeded by extreme weather conditions.
Responding to the incident, the Indian Navy said: “In immediate response, search and rescue (SAR) equipment was deployed to the scene by the Indian aircraft at the request of the People’s Liberation Army ships. (Navy) or PLA (N), closing in the region.
“In a demonstration of India’s obligations as a credible and responsible partner in ensuring safety at sea, Indian Navy units also coordinated SAR efforts with other units in the region and guided warships PLA(N) transiting to the scene of the incident,” the Indian Ministry of Defense said.
The Indian Navy remains deployed to provide all possible assistance to the ongoing SAR efforts.