Cyclone Tauktae: Indian seamen and fishermen rescued by Coast Guard and Navy

Published : May 17, 2021 21:25 IST

An Indian Coast Guard vessel involved in a rescue effort in the Arabian Sea as Cyclone Tauktae made its passage along the west coast. Photo: BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A joint operation by the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy on May 17 morning came in the nick of time for nine seamen stranded in the tug Coromandal Surrender IX that ran aground at Mulkhi Rock off the New Mangalore coast in Karnataka. While five of them were rescued by the Indian Coast Guard ship Varaha Gemini, four were winched to safety by a Dhruv naval helicopter that was requestioned from Kochi. Officials from the Disaster Management Cell said the rescued seamen were given emergency medical treatment at Mangaluru airport and were in good health.

The Indian Coast Guard also rescued 12 fishermen late on the night of May 16 around 35 nautical miles off the Kochi coast. The fishermen, aboard the fishing boat ‘Jesus’, were stranded in extremely rough seas as a result of Cyclone Tauktae (pronounced Tau’Te), categorised as an ‘extremely severe cyclone’ in the Arabian Sea. The Coast Guard Ship Aryaman took in tow the fishing boat and brought it to Kochi.

At least six persons lost their lives in the rough seas off the west coast as a result of the cyclone. Among them, two drowned when their tugboat capsized on the high seas off Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada coast and one fisherman died near Karwar in Karnataka’s Uttar Kannada district when a boat that was floating directionless crashed into him as he was towing his boat to the shore.

The Armed Forces are in full preparedness to provide assistance to civilian authorities to tackle the situation. Three naval ships, INS Talwar, INS Tarkash and INS Tabar, are on standby with aid and relief material for affected areas, if required. Several other naval ships from the Western Naval Command are on standby to assist fishing boats/small boats that may become stranded in the rough weather. The Navy’s P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft are on perpetual surveillance duty, continuously broadcasting cyclone warnings to fishermen.

After a review meeting on May 17, chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by the military top brass and others, it was announced that 11 Indian Navy diving teams were on standby in case of any request from authorities of the affected States. In addition, 12 flood rescue and medical teams have been earmarked for immediate response and deployment. Repair and rescue teams have also been formed to undertake urgent infrastructural repairs. Defence Ministry officials said two Army columns from Jamnagar had been dispatched to Diu along with an engineering task force and two columns had been moved to Junagadh for immediate response.

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