The Coast Guard today rescued all 31 members aboard the barge that was sinking in the Arabian sea off Ullal coast in Dakshina Kannada district.Official sources said the Coast Guard had rescued four persons last night and the remaining 23 persons this morning. It was earlier reported that 33 persons were in the barge. A lifeboat was used to rescue the stranded men instead of the earlier plan to use a helicopter to airlift them.The rescue operation, which had been halted due to rough seas last night, resumed at 7 am today, the sources said.
They said four people had been rescued from the sinking barge last night with the aid of Gemini, an inflatable rubber boat along with a diving officer and boarding team of Indian Coast Guard vessel ICGS Amartya. However, the rescue operations had to be aborted in the night due to bad weather and light conditions.
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The Barge Ibis, a 2964 GRT vessel with a length of 65.58 meters and breadth of 32 metres, with 27 crew, was engaged in operations to prevent sea erosion, south of Old Port Mangalore. Coast Guard Karnataka received a telephonic message at about 4.45 pm last evening regarding flooding in the barge.ICGS Amartya had been maintaining its position in the area with continuous communication with Barge Ibis since last evening, the sources said.