Cyclone Tauktae: Indian Navy rescues 177 personnel from P305 near Bombay High


New Delhi,May 18 (UNI) The Indian Navy on Tuesday informed that a total 177 personnel have been rescued so far from the Barge P305 near Bombay High oil fields. 
“First batch of three Rescuees brought in by Indian Navy Helo. INS Kochi and INS Kolkata along with MV Offshore Energy and MV Ahalya continue with SAR in extremely challenging circumstances”, the Navy Spokesperson said. 
The ongoing rescue efforts were augmented by Naval aircraft and helicopters at first light today. 
On May 17, a total of 60 persons from Barge P305 of Bombay High Oil fields were rescued till 2300 hrs, 42 persons were rescues by INS Kochi and 18 by offshore support vessel Energy Star in extremely challenging sea conditions and the Search and Rescue (SAR) operations continued through the night for the remaining crew. 
In a separate effort, INS Kolkata had rescued two survivors from the life raft of vessel Vara Prabha; and has now joined INS Kochi for the SAR of Barge P305 crew yesterday. 
On May 17,'Gal Constructor' a barge with 137 persons onboard has been adrift off Colaba Point due to engine trouble and the vessel has been approached by an Emergency Towing Vessel 'Water Lily' which has arrived in its vicinity for rendering assistance. The barge continues to drift in view of extreme sea conditions. 
The Indian Navy on Monday afternoon received an urgent SOS message from the the two Barges of Ministry of Petroleum and Gas PSU ONGC operated Bombay High Oil fields carrying 400 personnel drifted from its position near Heera oil field and sought help to rescue them. 
Despite the extremely severe cyclonic storm Taukrae in Arabian Sea, India Navy dispatched its ships INS Koch and Kolkata to SAR operation.