Despite intense searches being carried out by the Indian Navy, 38 people out of the 261 aboard the barge P305 that sank on Monday after getting stuck in cyclone Tauktae continue to remain missing. The Indian navy has so far rescued 186 people, whereas 37 people aboard the barge are dead.
Navy ships continued the search operation on Thursday throughout the night using searchlights for the people still missing. In the morning, it launched an aerial search and rescue mission and deployed helicopters for the same. The navy has also rescued two people from the tugboat Varaprada.
Naval ships INS Kolkata and INS Kochi brought the dead bodies to Mumbai. Chances of finding more survivors appear bleak, according to an official.
Naval ships were deployed on Monday after the Navy was informed that barge ‘P305’ had gone adrift off the Heera oil fields in Bombay high area with 261 personnel on board. The oil fields are around 70 km southwest of Mumbai.
Mumbai Police to conduct probe
Mumbai police have announced they will conduct a probe as to why the ill-fated barge remained in the turbulent waters despite warnings about cyclone Tauktae.
An accidental death report (ADR) on Wednesday in connection with the death of the personnel on the barge has been registered.
What Navy said
A Navy spokesperson said “The Navy’s search and rescue (SAR) operations entered the fourth day today. Naval ships and aircraft are presently undertaking SAR of the missing crew members of Accommodation Barge P-305, which sank on Monday 35 miles off Mumbai.”
Navy ships INS Kochi, INS Kolkata, INS Beas, INS Betwa, INS Teg, P8I maritime surveillance aircraft, Chetak, ALH and seeking helicopters are involved in the SAR operations, he said.
Another Navy ship INS Talwar was the ‘on scene coordinator’ off Gujarat coast and assisted support station 3 (SS-3) and drillship Sagar Bhushan, which were being safely towed back to Mumbai by ONGC support vessels, he said.
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