JAMMU/ CHANDIGARH: Persistent efforts by the Army and Navy for 75 days has led to the recovery of the body of Captain Jayant Joshi, co-pilot of the ill-fated Rudra attack helicopter which crashed in Ranjit Sagar Dam on August 3, on Sunday, an Army spokesperson said. Captain Joshi’s father Harish Joshi, who had been camping in Mamun Cantt after the crash waiting for his son’s body, told TOI that they were informed by the Army authorities that their son’s body was recovered from the Ranjit Sagar lake around 1.30pm on Sunday. “The body is intact though it has decomposed a bit and is bloated since it has remained in the water body for so long. The Army authorities have brought his body to the Pathankot Military Hospital for the post-mortem examination,” he added. After the wreath-laying ceremony in Pathankot on Monday, the mortal remains of Captain Joshi, 27, will be flown to Delhi. As his parents wish to take the final journey of their son from their house at Dwarka in Delhi on Tuesday, the Army authorities may keep the mortal remains in the Delhi Military Hospital on Monday night. Defence PRO Lt Col Devender Anand said, “Due to the expanse and depth of the dam, the search and rescue team has to use state of the art multi beam sonar equipment to scan the lake bed. Based on the inputs received, the remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) with robotic arm and professional divers were launched to search the area. The body was detected at a depth of 65-70m.” The helicopter, belonging to the 254 Army Aviation Squadron of the Mamun Cantt in Pathankot, crashed into the reservoir in the Ranjit Sagar Dam lake along the Jammu-Punjab border on August 3 along with two pilots. The chopper took off from the Pathankot cantonment and crashed within minutes. On August 15, the body of one pilot was recovered after 12 days while search for the body of Captain Jayant Joshi continued. Search operation continued unabated while expertise of the Army, Navy, IAF, NDRF, SDRF, NGOs, State Police, Dam Authority and private firms from all over the country were put into action. Captain Joshi’s mother, Colonel Jiwan Tara is in the Military Nursing Service (MNS) and has completed over 40 years of service. Captain Joshi was inspired by her to join the Army.

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