The Ministry of National Defence issued a statement regarding the pre-trial investigation. The ministry said that it is the Armed Forces that are in charge of organising and , coordinating maritime search and rescue operations.
Moreover, institutions under the Ministry of Transport and Communications as well as the Ministry of Environment are also responsible for carrying out and coordinating search and rescue activities. According to the statement, search and rescue operations can be effective only if all of these institutions carry out their functions properly.
When airplane An-2 disappeared over the Baltic Sea on Saturday afternoon, the media reported that Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre of the Lithuanian Navy might have carried out and coordinated the search and rescue operation poorly. This may have resulted in failure to save the two pilots.
The defence minister asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to launch a pre-trial investigation and evaluate whether institutions responsible for maritime rescue organised the operation properly.