The Indian Navy is using its naval ships in multiple search and rescue (SAR) operations to rescue people affected by Cyclone Tauktae. On May 18, the Indian Navy rescued 177 out of 273 people on board barge P305 which was on the verge of sinking as the cyclone hit parts of India, as informed by the Navy spokesperson.
The barge P305 went adrift off Heera oil fields in the Bombay High area on Monday with 273 people on board.
*Naval ships engaged in rescue operation*
– INS Kochi and INS Kolkata
INS Kochi and INS Kolkata, with the help of offshore support vessels like Greatship Ahalya and Ocean Energy are engaged in rescue operation of barge P305 since late night on May 17.
INS Kochi and INS Kolkata rescued 177 people in an operation that continued throughout the night. Meanwhile, Greatship Ahalya rescued 17 and Ocean Energy rescued 18 people till 6 AM on Tuesday, May 18.
Earlier, INS Kolkata rescued two survivors from the life raft of vessel Vara Prabha before joining INS Kochi in the search and rescue operation of barge P305.
– Water Lily
An emergency towing vessel, Water Lily with two support vessels and Coast Guard ships CGs Samrat are engaged in the evacuation of crew members of ‘Gal Constructor’. The barge went adrift off Colaba Point with 137 people on board, as informed by the spokesperson, Indian Navy.
– INS Talwar
The ship is on its way to render assistance to oil rig Sagar Bhushan with 101 personnel on board and barge SS-3 with 196 personnel. Both the barges went adrift due to the cyclone and are presently located about 50 NM South East of Pipavav Port.
Earlier on May 17, naval helicopter, Helo was dispatched to rescue Tug Coromondel Supporter XI which adrift northwest of New Mangalore, Karnataka. Boats had failed to rescue the Tug, after which Helo was dispatched for the rescue operation, according to the Navy spokesperson.
Cyclone Tauktae hit the Arabian Sea off the coast off Mumbai on May 17. Due to the cyclone, several barges started drifting away due to the loosening of anchors.
The anchors of barge P305 and barge Support Station-3 gave away causing them to drift away. Similarly, drillship Sagar Bhushan also lost its anchor and drifted north.
* Cyclone Tauktae weakens*
According to the Indian Meteorological Department on Tuesday, May 18, the severe cyclonic storm Tauktae has weakened into a cyclonic storm after making landfall in Saurashtra Gujarat.
IMD has forecasted the cyclone to move north-northeastwards and weaken gradually into a deep depression during the next six hours. Light to moderate rainfall at many places with heavy to very heavy rainfalls at isolated places over Gujarat region and Saurashtra has also been forecasted for May 18.