The flight CG-791 lost contact 16 miles off Chidambaram last night and eight ships -- four each belonging to Coast Guard and Navy -- are involved in search operations upto 180 nautical miles in the northerly direction, Inspector General SP Sharma, Commander, Coast Guard (East), told reporters here.

Choppers have also been pressed into service, he said.

The Pilot, Deputy Commandant Vidyasagar, Co-pilot Deputy Commandant MK Soni and Navigator Deputy Commandant Subash Suresh who are on board the missing Dornier Coast Guard are all 'highly qualified' and 'well-trained', he said.
    
The Coast Guard was in touch with the families of the crew who are showing 'resilience,' he said adding officials were confident of locating the personnel and the aircraft as early as possible.
    
Soon after receiving information, another Dornier aircraft was immediately pressed into service to locate the missing aircraft, Sharma said, adding all efforts were being made in this regard.

"Sea and wind currents are moving from south to north direction... We are confident of finding the missing aircraft," he said.

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