Cyclone Tauktae: Indian Armed Forces carrying round the clock ops to rescue stranded people

By: |
May 18, 2021 9:44 PM

The SAR Operation is being supported by the deployment of P8-I and other naval helicopters. Since May 17, 2021, almost 180 survivors have been recovered so far.

Late evening, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of Defence announced that all the 137 stranded crew was rescued from the `Gal Constructor’. (Credit: Indian Navy)

Several Indian Naval ships including INS Beas, Betwa, Teg have joined INS Kochi and Kolkata in the Search and Rescue (SAR) operations for Barge P-305, which sank 35 nautical miles from Mumbai (in the Mumbai Offshore Development Area).

The SAR Operation is being supported by the deployment of P8-I and other naval helicopters. Since May 17, 2021, almost 180 survivors have been recovered so far.

In another SAR operation, by the end of late afternoon on Tuesday (May 18, 2021), around 137 persons on board a barge ‘Gal Constructor’ were rescued. The vessel which was adrift in the Arabian Sea, which ran aground near the Wadrai beach – some 90 km north of Colaba Point Mumbai, late Monday night, were finally rescued. According to the Indian Navy, an Emergency Towing Vessel ‘Water Lily’, two support vessels and CGS Samrat which were in the vicinity gave all the support in evacuating the crew.

Despite the high winds and heavy rains, the Indian Coast Guard has pressed in helicopters to airlift the marooned crew to the shore. In this rescue mission the Indian Navy sent in Seaking 42 helicopters, which in one sortie can airlift 20 men. This helicopter rescued 35 crew members of `Gal Constructor’.

Late evening, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of Defence announced that all the 137 stranded crew was rescued from the `Gal Constructor’. Mr Bharat Bhushan Babu also announced that there was no one left there and the operation for the vessel was over.

Meanwhile another SAR mission is going on …

Off the coast of Gujarat SAR ops are in progress looking for three vessels — Support Station 3, Great Ship Aditi and Drill Ship Sagar Bhushan. These are almost 15-20 nautical miles South East off Gujarat coast (Pipavav).

INS Talwar has reached the area and has taken over the duties of ‘On-Scene Coordinator’ and is coordinating the SAR effort. The mission is being carried out in coordination with the Western Naval Command and ONGC and DG shipping. According to the Indian Navy’s official spokesperson, five tugs have been diverted to help.

(Credit: Indian Navy)

As an update, the situation is under control and has stabilized with the Great Ship Aditi and Support Station 3 able to drop anchor. And, OSV’s Samudra Sevak and SV Cheel are connected to manoeuvre Sagar Bhushan.

Is the sea rough?

Yes, till late Tuesday evening, the sea continued to be extremely rough with sea state 4-5 and winds 25-30 knots (approx 35 – 55 kmph). This has been a great challenge to all the ships and aircraft which are part of the SAR operations.

Updates on other SAR Ops

INS Kochi and offshore support vessel Energy Star on late Monday night had rescued 60 persons from Barge P305.

In a separate effort INS Kolkata has rescued two survivors from the raft of vessel Vara Prabha; and has now joined INS Kochi for the SAR of Barge P305 crew.

(Credit: Indian Navy)

Overall a total of 146 persons from Barge P305 have been rescued early morning of May 18, 2021 — 111 by INS Kochi and INS Kolkata, 17 by Offshore Support Vessel (OSV) Greatship Ahilya. This also includes the 18 rescued by OSV Ocean Energy.

Indian Army Columns conduct Relief and Rescue Ops in Diu & Gujarat

According to the Indian Army six rescue and relief teams have been activated to carry out rescue and relief operations in Diu. After travelling for 12 long hours and braving cyclonic high speed rains and winds the teams reached Diu.

(Credit: Indian Navy)

They have been helping in the movement of essential supplies, damaged electrical wires, removing debris and damaged trees, as well as assisting in civil traffic and medical support.

Another six teams of the Indian Army are on high alert to move in quickly to Junagarh and to assist in dealing with the after effects of the cyclone and at other places affected by the cyclone including Botad, Amreli and Bhavnagar.

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