BAF’s Italian-made rescue chopper proved its mettle
DOT Desk: Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) conducted a ‘Search and Rescue operation’ and rescued 11 crews as one cargo ship was partially sunk, while another two were sunk completely due to bad weather in Bay of Bengal at Kutubdia of Cox’s Bazar recently.
Sources at the BAF headquarters here yesterday said AgustaWestland AW-139 Maritime Search and Rescue (MSAR) Helicopter of the BAF had taken part in the rescue operations to try and save the missing crew members after three cargo ships of Abul Khayer Group– MV Titu-16, Titu-18 & Titu-19 (loaded with clinker)– were shipwrecked in the Bay off Kutubdia on August 7, reports UNB.
Within an hour of BAF receiving the information on the vessels that had run into trouble, it scrambled the two AW-139 MSARs to take part in the rescue mission. Despite the bad weather and adverse conditions overall, it managed to rescue 11 crew members as mentioned earlier. They were taken to BAF Base Zahurul Haque in Potenga of Chittagong.
The Italian-made AgustaWestland AW-139 is a special Maritime Search and Rescue helicopter fitted with modern integrated avionics and control system.
After induction of this helicopter in BAF on 6 December in 2015, search and rescue capability of BAF has been extended towards deep sea up to Air Defence Identification Zone.