Ranjit Sagar Lake crash: Army presses ROV technology to trace missing pilots

Jammu, Aug 12: Army on Thursday pressed the Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV) technology into service to locate the two pilots, who went missing after their helicopter crashed on August 3 into deep waters of the Ranjit Sagar Lake in Basholi tehsil of Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir.
“As per reports some parts of wreckage of the crashed helicopter have been found but efforts are still on to locate the missing pilots,” defence sources said.
They said that remotely operated special equipment, ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle), had been pressed into service on Thursday to locate them.
Earlier, special divers of the army and the navy could not find anything even after diving 50 meters deep into the water due to mud and silt.
“We hope that the missing pilots will be found soon,” they said.
Remote Operated Vehicle is a modern underwater machine operated remotely and is especially used for exploration work in sea.
It helps in studying aquatic life and it is a more accessible process than diving and can be handled easily, sources added.
Army and other agencies engaged in the search operation had also used Sonar (Sound, Navigation and Ranging) technology to find the correct direction, position and distance of any object through sound waves under water.
On August 10, Army said that searches were in progress to trace the missing pilots and the helicopter that crashed in Ranjit Sagar Lake in Basholi area of Kathua district.
“International assistance is also being sought besides experts, specialised equipment and divers in this exercise,” they said.
The dam is 25 km long, 8 km wide and more than 500 feet deep.
An Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) that took flight from the Army’s Aviation Squadron at Mamun Cantonment in Pathankot, Punjab on August 3 crashed into the deep waters of the lake.
Ranjit Sagar (Reservoir) Dam shares boundaries with Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.
Earlier in January, one pilot had died after an Indian Army helicopter crashed in Kathua district’s Lakhanpur near the Jammu and Kashmir-Punjab border.
The HAL Dhruv helicopter crashed after developing a technical snag.

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