Jammu, October 17
The body of a co-pilot of an Army helicopter that crashed and sank into Ranjit Sagar Dam in August was recovered from the water body in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, ending nearly two-and-a-half-month-long search for him, officials said.
The mortal remains of Captain Jayant Joshi were fished out from the dam around 2 pm in one of the longest search operations in recent history and were later taken to Pathankot military station, a police official said.
The Army aviation squadron’s Rudra helicopter had taken off from Mamun military station near Pathankot and crashed into the lake during a routine sortie on August 3.
After a hectic rescue and search operation, the body of Lt Col Abheet Singh Baath—pilot of the helicopter—was retrieved from the dam on August 15.
The longest search operation saw the deployment of experts and all types of equipment belonging to the Army, Navy, Air Force, NDRF, SDRF, J-K Police, dam authority and private firms from across the country to locate the wreckage of the crashed helicopter and retrieve the bodies, the officials said.
Heavy machinery and submarine rescue units were also flown in, while specialised divers from the Navy and the Army Special Forces worked in tandem during the prolonged operation which was challenging due to the near-zero visibility in the reservoir because of the colloidal nature of its water.
The agencies concerned also employed specialised machines, including multibeam sonars, side scanners, remotely operated vehicles and underwater manipulators flown in from Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai and Kochi during the operation, the officials said. PTI
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