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Barge P305 Got Cyclone Warning a Week Ago, But Captain Ignored, Life Rafts Too Had Holes: Chief Engineer

Thirty-seven useless personnel on board barge P305 that went adrift in Cyclone Tauktae fury and sank may have been saved had life rafts not had punctures and the Captain taken the cyclone warnings severely.

The revelation was made by the barge’s chief engineer Rahman Shaikh, who’s among the many 188 males rescued from the vessel. “There was miscalculation on the Captain’s behalf and in addition the corporate,” he was quoted as saying by The Indian Categorical.

“We obtained the cyclone warning every week earlier than it hit. Many different vessels within the neighborhood left. I instructed the Captain, Balwinder Singh, that we should additionally depart for the harbour. However he instructed me that winds weren’t anticipated to be over 40 kmph and the cyclone would cross Mumbai in a single or two hours. However in actuality the wind pace was greater than 100 kmph. 5 of our anchors broke. They couldn’t stand up to the cyclone,” Shaikh, 48, stated.

Whereas the chief engineer was among the many fortunate ones who was saved and admitted to Apollo Hospital in Tardeo with a wound on his knee, the Captain continues to be lacking. The technical superintendent of the corporate, Rajendra Pratap, instructed him that they had been nonetheless searching for Singh.

The barge, which served as lodging for the boys engaged on ONGC platforms and rigs, was engineless, like most vessels in that class. Barges often have to be towed by a tug boat. Shaikh stated that he despatched an SOS to Nove, the designated tugboat for P305, however its grasp didn’t present up, the IE report acknowledged.

He stated they might spot Naval ships within the neighborhood however earlier than any of these may attain P305, the barge drifted and hit an unmanned oil rig. “We had an enormous gap. Water began coming in. We tried utilizing life rafts on the port (left) facet however solely two might be launched and the remainder 14 had been punctured. Because the winds had been blowing at excessive pace and the waves had been excessive and tough, nobody had the braveness to verify on the starboard facet the place there have been 16 extra life rafts,” Shaikh was quoted as saying.

The lads, who had worn their life jackets, had been requested to leap into the ocean in teams holding floating rings, in order that they might be seen to rescuers and might be picked up, he added. “The barge lastly sank at 5 pm on Monday,” the report additional stated.

Shaikh stated a lot of the males died from being too lengthy within the water, and because of panic and shock. “I noticed loss of life coming however was saved by the grace of Allah,” he was quoted as saying.

Probabilities of discovering extra survivors are trying bleak, a Navy official stated. Mumbai police have introduced they’ll conduct a probe as to why the ill-fated barge remained within the turbulent space regardless of warnings about cyclone Tauktae, an official stated. They registered an unintentional loss of life report (ADR) on Wednesday in reference to the loss of life of the personnel on the barge.

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