A Naval helicopter has crashed at sea on Tuesday afternoon.

The Chetak helicopter, with four crew members on board, took off from INS Dega at about 2 p.m. on a routine mission in an area about 10 nautical miles (18 km) seaward of Visakhapatnam.

The Air Traffic Control (ATC) lost control with the helicopter around 3:30 p.m. and the helicopter failed to return to the base at the estimated time.

Search and Rescue operation was initiated and two survivors were picked up from the area and shifted to the Naval hospital INHS Kalyani, according to an official press release.

The Navy has mounted an extensive search in and around the exercise area with ships, helicopters and divers to locate remaining survivors and the wreckage. Assistance of the Port authorities and local fishing community has been sought.

A Board of Inquiry has been ordered to establish the cause of the accident.

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