Seven crew members of a tug “Jalarakh”, stranded for hours mid-sea, were airlifted to safety by the helicopters of the Indian Coast Guard near the Gujarat coast on Wednesday.
The tug was travelling from Veraval to Sikka, when its fuel lines burst, resulting in loss of engine power. The tug raised a distress alert to the Coast Guard headquarters at Porbandar at 12:45 am.
Due to prevailing extreme weather conditions, the tug started drifting towards land, south-west of Porbandar harbour. Assistance was also sought from other tugs in the Porbandar harbour. However, they could not be deployed due to the prevailing weather conditions, a statement from the defence spokesperson stated here.
In the meantime, the Coast Guard ship “Shoor” sailed near the distressed tug. However, due to the rough sea conditions and lack of communication with the tug, the ship could not conduct towing operations. The situation worsened with the tug drifting to shallow waters where the Coast Guard ship could not venture. The towing mission had to be aborted, but the ship continued to remain in the vicinity of the tug.
At first light, Coast Guard helicopters were flown from the Porbandar air enclave. All the seven crew members were airlifted from the tug which had ran around near Odador.