Indian Navy’s Air MR Assets Provide Critical Assistance in Rescuing Sunken Chinese Fishing Vessel

New Delhi: In a recent announcement, the Indian Navy stated that it had deployed its “Air MR assets” in the Southern Indian Ocean Region to assist in the rescue of a sinking Chinese fishing vessel. The navy’s P8I aircraft conducted extensive searches despite challenging weather conditions and located multiple objects that may belong to the sunken vessel.

At the request of the PLA(N) ships in the area, the Indian aircraft promptly deployed search and rescue equipment. This display of India’s commitment as a reliable and responsible maritime partner also involved coordinating search and rescue efforts with other units in the vicinity and guiding PLA(N) warships to the incident site.

According to reports from China’s state media, two bodies were recovered during the ongoing search operation for the missing crew members of the capsized vessel, Lu Peng Yuan Yu 028. The nationalities of the two individuals found have not been disclosed at this time.

Notably, the incident occurred within Australia’s search-and-rescue jurisdiction, approximately 5,000 kilometres west of Perth, the capital of Western Australia. Under international maritime conventions, countries are responsible for ensuring search and rescue operations in specific areas of the world’s oceans.

Australia has dispatched three aeroplanes and four ships to participate in the international search and rescue efforts, as confirmed by Beijing’s ambassador to Canberra. The ambassador called on Australia to provide additional aircraft, ships, and personnel to aid in the search for the vessel. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has identified a remote 12,000 square kilometre area in the Indian Ocean based on drift modelling for the search operation.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman expressed gratitude for the assistance rendered and stated that Chinese and foreign vessels had arrived in the relevant waters to conduct the search and rescue operation. Efforts are underway to locate the missing crew members, and collaboration with relevant parties will continue. The AMSA is working closely with the China Meteorological Administration to predict the drift of the crew and has strengthened coordination with search and rescue agencies in Australia, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka.

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