Cyclone Tauktae hits the coastal areas; Indian Navy and CG rescue stranded persons

By: |
May 19, 2021 5:14 PM

Following Cyclone Tauktae, these were part of the six vessels which have been adrift at sea since Monday and were all connected with oil drilling work at the Bombay High.

As has been reported earlier, all the 137 personnel on barge GAL Constructor had been rescued by both the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard. (Photos Credit : Indian Navy)As has been reported earlier, all the 137 personnel on barge GAL Constructor had been rescued by both the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard. (Photos Credit : Indian Navy)

In one of the most challenging search and rescue operations (SAR) in the last four decades, in joint operations carried out by the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard, 184 persons are rescued from the barge that sank early Tuesday. The Naval rescue teams which are working around the Bombay High Oil Rigs, 70 km south west of Mumbai have recovered 14 bodies near a sunken barge by naval rescue team.

According to the Indian Navy so far the 184 men who have been rescued from the barge have arrived at Mumbai on board the INS Kochi. And the second lot are reaching the Mumbai harbour on board the INS Kolkata.

According to the official spokesperson of the Indian Navy Commander Vivek Madhwal “Two Indian Navy ships — INS Kochi and INS Kolkata are returning to Mumbai harbour with rescued men. There are three more warships, planes and helicopters which continue their SAR at sea.”

As reported earlier other naval ships including INS Teg, INS Betwa and INS Beas are already at the location and participating in the missions, and they are supported by the maritime reconnaissance plane P8I, which are fitted with sharp sensors and are scanning the long stretches of water and the coastal areas. Both the Navy and the CG have deployed their helicopters in the rescue operations. The naval helicopters are fitted with sensors and can land on the decks of the warships.

ONGC part of the rescue operations

According to the Indian Navy the tugs of the ONGC are towing the drill ship Sagar Bhushan and barge ‘Support Station 3’ to harbour. And the Indian Navy helicopters are providing food and drinking water to the crew on board these vessels which are carrying 297 men on board.

Following Cyclone Tauktae, these were part of the six vessels which have been adrift at sea since Monday and were all connected with oil drilling work at the Bombay High.

Do the adrift barges pose a threat?

Yes. According to sources when ships or barges of this size are adrift at sea then other installations besides the oil rigs and other ships are in danger.

As has been reported earlier, all the 137 personnel on barge GAL Constructor had been rescued by both the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard.

Multiple rescue ops

According to the Indian Navy, the warships were deployed on Monday after a request was received for assistance for barge P305, which was adrift off Heera Oil Fields in Bombay High area. These oil fields are around 70km south-west of Mumbai.

So far 183 rescued by late Tuesday evening, and ops are going on to trace 90 more persons.

Sagar Bhushan: 101 on board, and is being towed to harbour

Deshbhakt, Greatship Aditi: has 45 crew on both vessels. They both are being towed to the harbour and their propulsion has been restored.

Gal Constructor: which ran aground 90 km off Mumbai, and all 137 are safe.

Support Station-3: 196 on board, is also in the process of being towed to harbour.

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