CG Heli salvage operation in Andaman sets example

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Port Blair, Jan 30 (UNI) The successful salvage operation of Indian Coast Guard's (CG) helicopter, which crashed into the Andaman Sea on January 21 has set an example in the history of Indian Coast Guard.

The helicopter of Indian Coast Guard, Ship Sagar, during a surveillance operation near Little Andaman Island, had crashed into the sea with five crew members onboard. It was the first copter crash in the 25-year history of CG.

Coast Guard Personnel have salvaged out the helicopter within 48 hours of the accident using innovative techniques, S P Sharma, Inspector General of Indian Coast Guard in Andaman told media here today.

Revealing the details of the accident and salvage operation, IG Sharma said the accident had occurred near a remote island.

''For the first time in the Coast Guards history a life raft was used to salvage a Helicopter of nearly 1.5 tonnes, out of the sea,'' he said, adding that the CG personnel placed a life raft below the helicopter, which fell upside down into the sea and then they inflated the life-raft, which pushed the helicopter out of the waters.

It was then towed towards the shore and later lifted onboard Coast Guard Ship using a crane.

''This was an innovative technique used by our men. After getting clearance I am going to write a Bible out of it, so that it proves helpful for others in future,'' the CG officer added.

All the five crew members, including pilots, however, managed to come out of the helicopter in time, who later reported complete 'Power loss' before the crash.

The top Coast Guard officer told media that experts from mainland India, including engineers from Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) have already arrived in Andamans to conduct preliminary investigations.

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