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Sea surface operation of searching for the An-2 pilots was ended


On May at 4.10 p.m. the search operation for the two An-2 pilots on water surface was ended by decision of the commander of the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre of the Lithuanian Navy. The decision regarding an underwater search will be made in the nearest while.


The decision to end the above-surface search for the An-2 pilots was taken on the basis of long experience global practice and theoretical calculations.


“Building upon the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual, we have to admit that everything we could do for finding the missing pilots has been done. It is torturing to accept that it was not possible to survive for this long under the given conditions. Now our job to is to plan resources and get ready for other possible search and rescue operations because one cannot predict disasters at sea,” Commander of the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre Commander Artūras Andrušaitis said.


During the 24 hours of thorough examination of the sunken AN-2 wreck carried out from its outside by the LNS Kuršis on May 21, the body that possibly is of one of its pilots was detected. The examination was carried out with underwater objects surveying equipment of the LNS Kuršis mine countermeasures vessel and of Klaipėda University.


The footage was taken to the Lithuanian Navy HQ on May and viewed together with the missing pilots’ families. It will be further examined by experts of various areas.


Minister of National Defence sends his condolences and support to the families of the two missing men in this difficult time and will continue making every effort to find them.


Representatives of the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Transport and Communications discussed lifting of the wreck at a meeting at the MoD in the morning of May 21. The day before the Lithuanian MoD contacted the Ministry of Defence of Sweden and those of other countries requesting support in lifting the An-2 from the Baltic seafloor.


Photo: the LNS Kuršis mine countermeasures vessel

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