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Cyclone Tauktae: Indian Navy rescues 177 people so far onboard barge adrift off Mumbai

Three frontline Navy warships (INS Kolkata, INS Kochi and INS Talwar) were also deployed on Monday evening, May 17, soon after receiving messages to rescue 410 people on board two barges off the Mumbai coast.

Cyclone Tauktae: Indian Navy rescues 177 people so far onboard barge adrift off Mumbai
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Due to the extreme severe intensity of cyclone Tauktae, two ships were stranded near the Heera oil fields, 175 km away from Mumbai.

Three frontline Navy warships (INS Kolkata, INS Kochi and INS Talwar) were also deployed on Monday evening, May 17, soon after receiving messages to rescue 410 people on board two barges off the Mumbai coast.

The Indian Navy, on Tuesday morning, confirmed that they have so far rescued 177 people on board a barge that went adrift in the Arabia Sea near Mumbai. 

Barge ‘P305’, belonging to the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), with 273 people on board, was the first to send out an SOS call which was responded to immediately by the Indian Navy which deployed INS Kochi for a search and rescue operation.

Later it received another SOS call from Barge ‘GAL Constructor’ with 137 people on board about eight nautical miles from Mumbai following which INS Kolkata was sent for search and rescue. Both the barges deployed for offshore drilling in Bombay High were de-anchored and started drifting primarily due to the existing rough conditions at sea, added the spokesperson.

Indian Navy has shared updates on Twitter and posted visuals, stressing that the rescue operations are being conducted in "extreme weather conditions and very rough seas".

As per sources, INS Kolkata is currently in the vicinity of the barge, but the naval vessel will not be able to follow the barge beyond a point as it risks the naval vessel being grounded.

However, according to reports, ONGC's P-305 ship sank on Tuesday, May 18, as a result, nearly 130 people are missing.

ONGC's ship P305 was anchored, but the hurricanes, along with huge waves, pushed the ship's plough away and resulted in the ship sinking.

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