Cyclone Tauktae: Indian Navy engages in multiple search and rescue Missions along Indian West Coast

Mumbai: In a swift response to SOS by an Indian vessel adrift in Arabian Sea, a naval helicopter was dispatched early morning today 17th May, for rescuing the stranded crew of Indian flagged Tug ‘Coromondel Supporter IX’, which was adrift North West of Mangalore, Karnataka. Rough seas, due to cyclone Tauktae, had resulted in flooding of the vessel’s machinery compartments rendering it without propulsion and power supply, and the crew without any support. The Indian Navy Helo was dispatched early morning 17th May 21 after failed attempts to rescue by boat. Four crew members were winched by helo safely.

On receipt of a request for assistance for a Barge ‘P305’ adrift off Heera Oil Fields in Bombay High area with 273 personnel onboard, INS Kochi was swiftly sailed with despatch to assess the situation and render assistance, as required. INS Talwar is also preparing to sail out.

In response to another SOS received from Barge ‘GAL Constructor’ with 137 people onboard about 8 nautical miles from Mumbai INS Kolkata has also been sailed with despatch to render assistance.

Continuing with the preparations to tackle cyclone Tauktae, 11 Indian Navy Diving Teams have been kept standby and ready for deployment in case of any request from State authorities. 12 Flood Rescue Teams and medical teams have also been earmarked for immediate response and deployment. Repair and rescue teams have been formed to undertake urgent infrastructural repairs post cyclone, if required.

Various ships along the Western seaboard are standby with aid and relief material for immediate assistance to affected areas as required and to provide assistance to fishing boats/ small boats stranded due to rough weather. Navy’s Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft on surveillance are continuously broadcasting cyclone warnings to fishermen.

As informed earlier, relief operations by naval teams were also undertaken at Kochi, Kerala. Three diving teams along with Quick Reaction Teams from Southern Naval Command were deployed at Chellanam (Kochi) for providing assistance to the local populace, stranded due to flooding. These teams ferried food, water and provisions to the relief camp, which was inaccessible by vehicles due to heavy water logging. Stranded people were ferried in Gemini rubber craft from their houses to relief camps on higher ground at Ernakulam and Chellanam. The Naval team also provided water and essentials to the Cortina hospital, Chellanam which was completely inaccessible due to water logging.