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Cyclone Tauktae: Rescue operations still on at ONGC's Mumbai offshore facilities

In the wee hours of May 17, Cyclone Tauktae hit the Arabian Sea off the coast of Mumbai.

May 18, 2021 / 09:11 AM IST
ONGC said it was taking all possible measures to ensure the safety of personnel and vessels.

ONGC said it was taking all possible measures to ensure the safety of personnel and vessels.

State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) said on May 18 that rescue operations at its Barge ‘Papaa–305’ (P-305) were still going on. So far, around 148 out of around 260 people on board are rescued, an ONGC source told Moneycontrol. The accommodation barge capsized off Heera oil fields in Bombay High due to the impact of Cyclone Tauktae.

“Due to combination of the cyclone and high sea swell, the anchors of the barge had given away, and the vessel started drifting. For rescue operation, INS Kochi and INS Kolkata- two ships of Indian Navy and one Tug Boat of Afcons, one OSV (Offshore Supply vessel) of ONGC, Coast Guard vessel ‘ICG Samarth’ have also been pressed into service. These vessels have reached the location and have started rescue operation. Three more ONGC OSVs and two MSVs (Multipurpose Support Vessel) have been mobilized (sic),” ONGC said in a statement.

In the wee hours of May 17, Cyclone Tauktae hit the Arabian Sea off the coast of Mumbai, where ONGC’s major production installations and drilling rigs are located. The wind speed rose to nearly 150-180 kilometer per hour with six to eight meters high waves.

“Due to the severe cyclonic storm, unfortunate incidences have occurred involving three construction barges of M/s Afcons working on a project of ONGC in Western Offshore fields in the Arabian Sea and one drilling rig of ONGC deployed for exploration purpose (sic),” it said.

The company said it was taking all possible measures in coordination with ODAG (Offshore Defence Advisory Group) and MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) to ensure the safety of personnel and vessels.

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On the other hand, anchors of the barge ‘Support Station-3’ gave away and it started drifting North-West following the cyclone. “It is clear of all operational Installations of Mumbai High. The vessel is under control and there is no water ingress. Two ONGC OSVs are on their way to provide the necessary help,” the company said.

For Barge ‘Gal Constructor’, Coast Guard vessel ‘ICG Samrat’ and Mumbai Port Trust vessel ‘Water Lily’ are at the location for rescue and support. In another development, ONGC Drill Ship ‘Sagar Bhushan’ deployed for exploration in western offshore, also lost its anchors and started drifting north. “Four ONGC charter hired vessels are at the location for rescue operations. Two ONGC MSVs are also on their way. ‘ICGS Shoor’ of Coast Guard has been diverted for rescue operations. In addition to this, INS Talwar is also on its way (sic),” it said.
Shine Jacob
first published: May 18, 2021 09:11 am

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