Three barges and an oil rig with 707 personnel on board went adrift on Monday as Cyclone Tauktae raged. This included barge P305 with 273 persons, cargo barge GAL Constructor with 137 personnel on board, accommodation barge SS-3 with 196 personnel on board and the Sagar Bhushan oil rig with 101 personnel on board.
While the storm may have moved northward and lost most of its intensity, rescue operations along the Maharashtra coast continue.
According to officials all the 137 personnel onboard barge GAL Constructor were rescued by the Navy and Coast Guard on Tuesday. Also, the 196 personnel on barge SS-3 and 101 personnel on board oil rig Sagar Bhushan have been declared safe. Offshore vessels hired by ONGC and SCI are towing them to safety and INS Talwar is in the area to assist in the SAR ops.
The accommodation barge P305 which was servicing ONGC offshore operations sank on Monday evening, an official said.
Indian Navy Commodore Manoj Jha talking about the recue operation said, "The operation is going on as planned. As soon as distress calls with regard to the cyclone began coming in ,we started to deploy our ships"
The Navy on Wednesday said its personnel, battling extreme weather, have so far rescued 186 of the 273 people onboard barge P305, adding all personnel on board two other barges and an oil rig are safe after Cyclone Tauktae fury rendered these vessels adrift.
(With inputs from agencies)