Cyclone Tauktae: Two more bodies of suspected barge, tugboat mishap victims washed ashore Gujarat, Daman coast

By PTI
VALSAD: Two more bodies, suspected to be of victims a barge and a tugboat that sank due to cyclone Tauktae, have been found at the Valsad coast in Gujarat and the neighbouring Union Territory of Daman, police said on Monday.

This has taken the total number of such bodies recovered in the past few days to eight.

Out of the two more bodies recovered, one was washed ashore at Magod Dungri in Valsad on Sunday.

Before this, six bodies with life jackets were found from different places in the district in the last couple of days, the police said.

Besides, police in neighbouring Daman said they recovered a body, clad in a uniform and life jacket, from the Kadaiya beach on Saturday.

Prima facie, the body appears to be of a victim of barge P305 which sank last Monday, they said.

The police further said one more body was found at a beach in Moti Daman area on Monday morning, but it does not seem to be of any victim of the barge or the tugboat ‘Varaprada’ which sank off the Mumbai coast due to cyclonic storm Tauktae.

“We have shared the data of both the bodies and are awaiting confirmation. At least one of the bodies found on Saturday was clad in a uniform and life jacket, while the one found on Monday could be of a fisherman,” Daman Superintendent of Police Amit Sharma said.

Out of seven bodies found so far in Valsad, two have been identified.

One of them was a crew member of the tugboat ‘Varaprada’ that sank along with the barge last week, police said.

Efforts were on to identify the other bodies, they said, adding that a case of accidental death was registered.

Barge P-305, which housed personnel engaged in maintenance work of an offshore oil drilling platform of the state-run oil and gas major ONGC, sank on May 17 off the Mumbai coast after it went adrift due to the high-speed winds and huge tidal waves caused by cyclone Tauktae.

The Navy on Monday said all the 274 personnel who were on board barge P305 and tugboat Varaprada have been accounted for with the recovery of 16 bodies along the Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts.

“Eight bodies have been recovered along the coast in Raigad district of Maharashtra and another eight bodies washed ashore the Gujarat coast near Valsad,” a Navy spokesperson said.