US Navy spy plane spots missing Sri Lankan fishermen

ECONOMYNEXT – A United States Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft has located a missing fishing vessel in the Indian Ocean, after joining search efforts at the request of the Sri Lankan Navy.

The US Embassy said in a statement the vessel was located by an aircraft from the “Pelicans” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 45 assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet and flew out of Naval Support Facility in Diego Garcia.

The 40-foot vessel and crew of six went missing the morning of July 8 near Dondra Head, Sri Lanka.

A Sri Lankan Navy ship is headed to the location provided by the P-8A, mainly used to hunt submarines, along with a commercial vessel nearby to render assistance.

"As we continue to explore the operational reach and agility of the P-8A Poseidon, the trust and relationships we build with our multi-national partners becomes more and more apparent in such a complex and broad Indo-Pacific region," said Mark E. Zematis, commander Patrol Squadron 45.

"The positive relationship between Sri Lanka and the United States is what allowed our aircrew and maintenance team to effectively launch and assist with the recovery of their countryman."

The P-8A is the world’s newest, most capable maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft and operates regularly throughout the Indo-Pacific in support of regional security and stability, the statement said.
(COLOMBO, July 11, 2018)

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