The Indian Coast Guard has found the aircraft voice data recorder, or black box as it is known, of a helicopter that went missing off the coast of Mumbai on Saturday, PTI reported on Sunday. “[The] Aircraft Voice Data Recorder (VDR) has been recovered and recovery of balance debris is in progress,” a Coast Guard spokesperson said.
Seven people – two pilots and five employees of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation – were on board the helicopter. Six bodies have been recovered till now, and the Navy has widened its search operations for the only other missing crew member. “Search for the missing ONGC crew continues till recovery,” the spokesperson added.
The chopper – VTPWA Dauphin AS365 N3 – took off from the Pawan Hans airbase in Juhu at 10.20 am on Saturday and last made contact with the Air Traffic Control at 10.35 am. It was scheduled to land at ONGC’s North Field oil rig at 10.58 am, but did not. It was 30 nautical miles off the coast of Mumbai when it went missing.
The Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy are carrying out search and rescue operations together. Besides, ONGC has deployed nine vessels for the search operation. Two Fast Interceptor Craft, INS Tarasa and the frigate INS Teg are carrying out search operation along with Indian Coast Guard ships Samudra Prahari, Achook and Agrim, said a Navy spokesperson.