Whirly bird carcass found  off Chalai


By Franklin R.Satyapalan

Divers of the Sri Lanka Navy salvaged the debris of a helicopter in the seas approximately one nautical mile east of Chalai on May 25. SLN Landing Craft Mechanized Ranagaja and Fast Attack Craft P492 attached to the Northern Naval Command assisted in the diving operation, which was carried out under the direction of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage and the supervision of Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Sarath Dissanayake. The salvaged parts are due to be handed over to the Sri Lanka Air Force for further investigations.

The Sri Lanka Air-Force (SLAF)  had dispatched  a helicopter specialist  to the  North yesterday morning in an attempt  to identify the debris of a chopper salvaged by the  Naval authorities  off the Northern seas on Sunday,  spokesperson for the Sri  Lanka Air Force Wing Commander Gehan Seneviratne  said yesterday.

The SLAF spokesperson said that though the SLAF had lost quite a few aircraft in the Northern theatre including the area around the Palaly Airbase. One would find it difficult to identify the said helicopter without carrying out a proper examination by a specialist as corrosive sea water would have eroded the aluminum body and other sections of the aircraft.

Spokesperson for the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said that on information received by the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage under his directions a salvage operation had commenced in the seas off the Northern coast on Sunday.

The Northern Naval Command assisted in the diving operation carried under the personal supervision of Northern Naval Commander (NNC) Rear Admiral Sarath Dissanayake in the seas approximately 10 Nautical miles East of Chalai. Around dawn in Sunday the SLN‘s Mechanized Landing Craft (MLC) Ranagaja with the assistance of Fast Attack Craft (FAC) P-492 were able to salvage the debris of an helicopter.

The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) headquarters was notified of the salvage operations, whilst the debris of the salvaged aircraft was handed over to Northern Naval base at Kankesanthurai, Cmdr. Warnakulasuriya said.

SLAF Spokesperson Wing Commander Gehan Seneviratne added that if required the SLAF would dispatch a team from Colombo for an in depth study.

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