Karnataka: Indian Coast Guard rescues 27 workers from flooded barge

Indian Coast Guard rescues 27 workers from flooding barge off Karnataka coast

Indian Coast Guard rescues 27 workers from flooding barge off Karnataka coast

After being stranded at sea for over 12 hours, all the 27 members aboard the barge that was reportedly sinking, have been rescued by the Coast Guard near Mangaluru on Sunday.

Coast Guard Karnataka received a telephonic message from New Mangalore Port Trust regarding flooding in Barge Ibis at around 4.45 pm. While four of them were rescued yesterday, the rest were saved from danger around 5.30 this morning.

Though they had enough ration on the barge, the trapped crew members of IBIS barge survived the Saturday night on biscuits and water, said R. Murugan, the Barge Master.Narrating the ordeal after the rescue of 27 crew members, Mr. Murugan told presspersons on Sunday that following rough weather on Saturday afternoon they anchored the barge near a reef. The operations team sent Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Amartya, which was on patrol, to help the distressed barge as soon as possible.

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ICGS Amartya has been maintaining its position in area with continuous communication with the barge and intends to commence rescue operation by first light on June 4th.

Despite inclement weather conditions and strong winds, the "Gemini" continued to ferry the stranded workers from listing dredger to ICGS Amartya. "Port secretary Laxminarayana alerted Coast Guard authorities in Karwar and Goa to keep their ship and helicopter ready", he said. Distress signals were sent out by those on the barge after the vessel began to list and sink into the Arabian sea off Ullal Coast. Coastal Security Police deployed its 12-tonne boat in the operation and rescued eight crew members. "The rescue operation is still going on even though weather is making it extremely hard.", adds the statement.

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