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Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė has commented that the search and rescue operation launched in order find a missing An-2 airplane and its two pilots has revealed that Lithuanian institutions responsible for search and rescue missions fail to properly cooperate and coordinate among themselves.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

"The president says that in case of emergency, it is essential to use all available capacities of state institutions," the president has been is quoted by the presidential press service.

As reported, the two Lithuanian pilots flying the An-2 airplane from Sweden to Klaipėda made last contact with Palanga Air Traffic Control at 4:16 PM on Saturday, 16 May. At the time they were travelling at the altitude of 40,000 feet with less than 180km left to the destination.

On 19 May, a Eurocopter EC 135 helicopter of Lithuania's State Border Guard Service (VSAT) joined the operation of searching for the An-2 aircraft and its crew.

On Tuesday morning, Kuršis M-54 minesweeper of the Lithuanian Navy also joined the search. It was called off from mine countermeasures operation in Estonia. The vessel has begun surveillance of the seafloor in the search area.

Search and rescue ship Šakiai and the Lithuanian Air Force aircraft Spartan C27-J are also continuing their search.

The airplane is believed to have sunk in the Baltic Sea.

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