A barge with 261 personnel of the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) went adrift off the Mumbai coast as cyclonic storm Tauktae intensified on Monday. The personnel, deployed for offshore drilling in Bombay High in the Arabian Sea, on board barge P305 are reported to be safe.
Coast Guards Inspector General (West) Anand Badola told The Indian Express: “This barge was 75 nautical miles south-west of Prongs Light House and hit an unmanned rig after due to inclement weather. There was propulsion failure and water started entering the barge.”
Navy spokesperson Commander Mehul Karnik said that the western naval command has pressed INS Kochi into service to meet any eventuality.
Bombay High off the Mumbai coast is the largest oil and gas assets of ONGC.
Meanwhile, in response to another SOS received from a barge called GAL Constructor with 137 people on board, which is about 8 nautical miles from Mumbai, INS Kolkata has been dispatched to render assistance.
In response to another SOS received from Barge ‘GAL Constructor’ with 137 people onboard about 8NM from #Mumbai, INS Kolkata has been sailed with despatch to render assistance. @indiannavy @SpokespersonMoD @DDNewslive @ANI pic.twitter.com/aWI9qR73V9
— PRO Defence Mumbai (@DefPROMumbai) May 17, 2021
Gusty winds and heavy showers lashed Mumbai and its neighbouring areas as the “very severe cyclonic storm” Tauktae headed towards Gujarat, uprooting trees and disrupting local train services in the metropolis.
Cyclone ‘Tauktae’ is most likely to hit the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district on Monday night anytime between 8 pm to 11 pm.