Coast Guard Rescue
Earlier this week, the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard launched a search and rescue operation after four vessels became stranded off the coast of Mumbai as a result of inclement weather and heavy rains brought on by Tropical Cyclone Tautkae. What was the cause of the accident, and what is the current status of the rescue mission?
When did the accident take place?
Cyclone Tauktae made landfall in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Mumbai in the early hours of May 17, causing significant damage to Oil Natural Gas Corporation Ltd’s major production installations and drilling rigs. The wind picked up speed to nearly 150-180 kilometres per hour, with waves ranging in height from six to eight metres. Four vessels operated by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) became stranded on the high seas as a result of a combination of weather factors.
How many different types of vessels were involved in the incident?
It is believed that four vessels have been affected. Afcons, a construction company based in Mumbai, is currently working on a project for the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in the Western Offshore Fields of the Arabian Sea. Some of these barges were being used as living quarters for men who were employed by the oil PSU on a number of offshore drilling rigs. The fourth vessel is a drilling rig of ONGC deployed for exploration purposes.
What went wrong with these four vessels, and how did it happen?
The high sea swell and strong winds appear to have had a significant impact on the vessels. The barge ‘Papaa–305′ experienced anchors that failed, causing the vessel to begin to drift away. The anchors of the second vessel, the barge ‘Support Station-3,’ failed as well, causing it to float aimlessly. When we arrived at Colaba Point, the third vessel, the barge “Gal Constructor,” was drifting with water leaking into the engine room. The ONGC Drill Ship “Sagar Bhushan,” which was deployed for exploration in the western offshore, also lost its anchors and began drifting north.
What was the procedure for launching the rescue operation?
Despite receiving the distress call as soon as it was received, helicopters were unable to be launched for rescue operations due to the severe weather conditions. According to the most recent reports, two Indian Navy ships, the INS Kochi and the INS Kolkata, were dispatched to assist with the rescue operation. Besides the three coast guard vessels, a total of 14 other vessels, both ONGC-owned and chartered-hired, have been dispatched to assist with the rescue operation.