New Delhi: The Indian Navy has responded to a request from the Chinese Navy and offered assistance in the ongoing search for a Chinese fishing vessel that sank in the Indian Ocean. 

The vessel had reportedly 39 people onboard, including 17 Chinese crew members, 17 Indonesians, and five Filipinos.

China sought help from several multiple countries, including India, for the rescue operation of the capsized vessel, located in the central region of the Indian Ocean since Tuesday.

In a statement on Thursday, the Indian Navy said it deployed its “Air MR assets” in the Southern Indian Ocean Region to rescue the sinking Chinese fishing vessel.

“P8I aircraft have carried out multiple & extensive searches despite adverse weather & located multiple objects possibly belonging to the sunken vessel. As an immediate response, SAR equipment was deployed at the scene by the Indian aircraft on request of PLA(N) ships closing the area,” the Indian Navy spokesperson tweeted.

“In a display of India’s obligations as a #credible & #responsible partner for ensuring #safety at sea, the #IndianNavy units also coordinated #SAR efforts with other units in the area & guided #PLA(N) warships transiting to the scene of incident,” it added.

“Two bodies were found in the search for the missing crew members, China’s state media reported. The ongoing search operation following the capsizing of the Lu Peng Yuan Yu 028 “found and salvaged the remains of two victims”, Xinhua news agency reported.

No details were given on the nationalities of the two bodies found on Thursday.

The response from the Indian side came nearly 24 hours after Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Qiang appealed to its diplomats abroad, as well as the agriculture and transportation ministries, to assist in the search for survivors.

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