The search for the missing pilot of an army helicopter that crashed into the Ranjit Sagar dam in Punjab on Aug. 3 is ongoing, the military said, adding it is “completely committed” to “recovering the second crew member.” of the ill-fated helicopter.”
The military has also said it is “sympathetic to the grief of relatives of the crew”.
The remains of one of the pilots on board, Lieutenant Colonel AS Batth, were recovered from the reservoir on 15 August.
Neel Joshi, brother of missing pilot Captain Jayant Joshi, told NewsMadura yesterday that the family is disappointed with the equipment used in the search.
“We are very pleased with the human effort. However, in terms of the equipment used, we were assured that there would be a more cohesive and faster action in removing the remains or the helicopter. But neither of these things are happened,” he said.
“We were assured that international support will be sought in case the currently available equipment proves to be ineffective. The equipment has not proved effective, it is now 20 days,” he said.
In a statement issued by Defense PRO Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand, the military said the armed forces are using “the best equipment available in the country to locate the wreckage, including: remote-controlled underwater vehicles, handheld navigation system with sonar, side scanner Sonar with Echo Sensor and Portable Transducer, Divers Propulsion Vehicle, Multi-Beam Sonar and Navy Submarine Rescue Unit.”
It also said Special Forces Commandos along with Marcos of the Navy are conducting continuous dives in the areas.
The military said several agencies such as the NDRF, civilian experts and dam authorities have also been involved.
The search operations are being led by a Commodore-ranking officer who is an expert in sea rescue, along with the Indian Army Brigade who has expertise in civil engineering aspects, the army said.
“The Indian Army is fully committed to retrieving the second crew member from the ill-fated helicopter. The Indian Army expresses its condolences to the family members of the crew of the ill-fated helicopter,” it added.