Sunken Barge Tragedy: 70 Deaths, Navy Finding For 16 Missing
The death count on barge P305 which sank during Cyclone Tauktae 70 on Sunday with the recovery of four more bodies, the Navy said, including it is continuing the search for 16 more believed missing from the barge and tugboat Varaprada.
The list of those missing may get a lot shorter if it is affirmed that the 14 bodies recovered along the Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts in the last few days are those of the barge and tugboat personnel, an official said.
“Those found ashore are yet to be identified,” the official said. While eight bodies were recovered on Raigad coast in Maharashtra, six were found on Valsad coast in Gujarat.
There is also no trace yet of 11 of the 13 personnel who were on board tugboat Varaprada, which also went adrift due to the cyclonic storm. Two persons on Varaprada have been saved so far.
Barge P305 was located on the seabed after systematic search by INS Makar employing advanced side scan sonar.
The search for the missing personnel will continue through the night, the official said. The Navy also deployed specialised diving teams to boost the search and rescue (SAR) operations.
While all the 440 persons on barges Gal Constructor and Support Station 3 (SS-3) and drillship Sagar Bhushan were brought ashore to safety recently on Sunday.