Navy Dornier crash: Woman officer's body recovered

Panaji: The body of Lt. Kiran Shekhawat, who was one of the three Indian Navy crew of the Dornier-228 maritime surveillance aircraft which crashed into the Arabian Sea near Goa, was recovered on Thursday, navy officials said.

The body was recovered from the fuselage of the crashed aircraft which was located earlier on Thursday.

"The body is being taken to Goa," a navy official said.

Lt. Shekhawat, wife of a navy officer, was part of the first all-women marching contingent of the Indian Navy at the Republic Day parade this year.

The Dornier-228 with three crew on board went down in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Goa on Tuesday night.

Commander Nikhil Kuldip Joshi, who was the pilot of the aircraft, was rescued by a passing boat from a fishermen's hamlet off Karwar and transferred to a naval fast interceptor craft.

Joshi has an experience of over 4,000 flying hours.

On Thursday, the fuselage of the crashed Dornier-228 was located in the vicinity of its last known position by INS Makar, a naval hydrographic vessel, which detected the metallic object, using its side scan sonar.

Naval ship INS Matanga with divers was then sent to the area.

The third crew member, co-pilot Sub-Lieutenant Abhinav Nagori, has not been traced so far.

The Indian Navy operates 36 Dornier aircraft for search and rescue, maritime surveillance and commuter duties. This was the first crash of a Dornier since it was inducted into the navy in the early 1990s.

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