Mumba: At least 78 passengers, mostly tourists, were rescued from a ferry which ran aground in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai coast Tuesday evening, official sources said.
The rescue operation was carried out by a hovercraft of the Indian Coast Guard near the world famous Elephanta Island when the regular tourist ferry, Navrang, suddenly ran aground.
The incident happened around 4.45 p.m. during its 11-km voyage from Nhava village on the mainland to the island.
Following an SOS from the state government, the ICG activated its teams in choppers and a hovercraft and rescued all the stranded passengers.
All the passengers, including 20 women, 18 children and 40 men, are safe and unhurt, and were dropped at the Belapur hover port by 6.30 p.m.
The details and cause of the incident were being ascertained, the sources said.
The Elephanta Islands harbour the UNESCO World Heritage site of Elephanta Caves comprising Hindu and Buddhist sculptures, dating back to 4th century AD. It is a major draw for both domestic and foreign tourists round the year.