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Captain of Tugboat That Sank Off in Cyclone Tauktae Found Dead in Valsad, 6 Other Bodies Found

File photo of  Barge 305 that first went adrift and subsequently sunk at Bombay Hight some 175 kms from Mumbai after de-anchoring as Cyclone Tauktae’s fierce wind speed created havoc at sea.

File photo of Barge 305 that first went adrift and subsequently sunk at Bombay Hight some 175 kms from Mumbai after de-anchoring as Cyclone Tauktae’s fierce wind speed created havoc at sea.

Barge P305 sank during the Cyclone Tauktae fury last Monday and was located on the seabed on Saturday, a Navy spokesperson earlier said.

The body of the tugboat captain, Nagendra Kumar, was among the seven dead found in Gujarat’s Valsad on Sunday. A police official said that they are the victims of barge P305 that sank off the Mumbai coast in cyclone Tauktae. Eleven people from tugboat Varaprada also went missing after the storm.

Sources said that Valsad police is in touch with Mumbai police. While three bodies were fished out on Sunday, four were found on Saturday. Eight unidentified bodies were alsp found at three different locations along the coast in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. “These bodies are yet to be identified," an official said.

Barge P305 sank during the Cyclone Tauktae fury last Monday and was located on the seabed on Saturday, a Navy spokesperson earlier said.

The death toll on the barge rose to 66 on Saturday, while nine personnel are still missing, the Navy had said. Of the 261 personnel who were on barge P305 at the time of the incident, 186 have been rescued so far, it had said.

RELATED NEWS

Barge P305, which housed personnel engaged in maintenance work of an offshore oil drilling platform of state-run oil and gas major ONGC, sank on Monday evening off the Mumbai coast after it went adrift due to the high-speed winds and huge tidal waves caused by the extremely severe cyclone which brushed the Mumbai coast on its way to Gujarat. Apart from the nine missing personnel of the barge P305, the Navy and the Coast Guard are also searching for 11 persons from tugboat Varaprada who went missing after the cyclone. Of the 13 people on Varaprada, two have been rescued.

On Saturday, four bodies were also found on the shore of the Arabian Sea in Gujarat's Valsad district. "Seeing the uniforms and life jackets on the four bodies, it appears they are all members of the barge that had sunk off the Mumbai coast," Superintendent of Police, Valsad, Rajdeepsinh Jhala told PTI. The Navy had deployed specialised diving teams to boost the search and rescue operations.

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first published:May 23, 2021, 12:36 IST