Dornier aircraft
A Dornier aircraft of the Indian Navy. [Representational Image]IANS

Search operation has been launched for the Dornier aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard, which went missing with three crew members on board on Monday night off Chennai coast.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) declared it missing at 6 am on Tuesday.

The Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Tamil Nadu Coast Security Group have launched search and rescue operations to trace the aircraft and the crew, including two pilots and a navigator, Hindustan Times reports.

Moreover, four naval ships have been sent into the sea to carry out search operations, while the fishing communities along the Chennai coast have been alerted about the incident. They have been asked to inform the ICG if they spot the aircraft.

The aircraft took off at 5:30 pm for a routine sortie, hours after which it lost contact and went missing, PTI reports. Ministry of Defence Spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said that the aircraft was on a routine sortie when it lost contact with air traffic control (ATC) at around 10 pm on Monday.

One ICG Dornier a/c on a routine surveillance sortie over sea, off Chennai coast, is overdue since 2200 hr last night. SAR on.

Kar said in another tweet said that the missing aircraft that was the latest induction in the ICG was being flown by experienced crew.

Earlier this year, another Dornier aircraft of the Indian Navy crashed off Goa coast on 24 March. While two of the crew members were killed, third, a pilot, was rescued by fishermen.