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Indian Navy rescues 180 from sunken barge, 93 still missing

The Indian Navy rescued 180 people from a barge that sunk of the coast of Mumbai amid dangerous seas during cyclone Tauktae. Photo courtesy Indian Navy/EPA-EFE
The Indian Navy rescued 180 people from a barge that sunk of the coast of Mumbai amid dangerous seas during cyclone Tauktae. Photo courtesy Indian Navy/EPA-EFE

May 18 (UPI) -- The Indian Navy on Tuesday rescued 180 people from the P305 barge which sunk off the coast of Mumbai, but 93 people remained missing.

The barge, carrying 273 crew members sank at 7 p.m. on Monday after de-anchoring from an oil rig into the Arabian Sea hours before cyclone Tauktae made landfall causing choppy waters.

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Indian Naval Ships Beas, Betwa and Teg joined the search and rescue operations for the barge along with P-81 and naval helicopters.

Survivors said the barge began taking on water Monday morning forcing them to move to the deck before some abandoned the ship as it began to sink.

The Navy also announced several other rescue operations, including declaring the barge Support Station-3 and its 196 people on board had successfully anchored at sea after floating adrift for more than 24 hours.

The drilling ship Sagar Bhushan, was being towed to harbor with all 101 crew members onboard safe, the Navy said.

The barge Gal Constructor with 137 people on board ran aground after floating adrift in the Arabian Sea and the Coast Guard said the 45 crew members from both the MTDeshbhakt and Greatship Aditi were safe after they had both been adrift.

Cyclone Tauktae made landfall along the coast of western India late Monday as an "extremely severe cyclonic storm" packing winds equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale and resulting in more than a dozen deaths.

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