Coast Guard rescues 50 rig crew in Gujarat

New Delhi: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has evacuated a 50-member crew of a jackup rig in Gujarat as a preventive measure ahead of the expected landfall of severe Cyclone Biparjoy, an official statement said on Tuesday.

“In a swift and well-coordinated move, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) evacuated 50 lives on June 13 at Okha, Gujarat as a preventive measure,” the statement issued by the Defence Ministry said.

The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) had requested the ICG for evacuation of 50 crew from jackup rig ‘KEY SINGAPORE/01’ located 25 nm west of Okha on June 12, it said.

On receipt of the request, the ICG initiated the operation for the safe evacuation of all the 50 crew members onboard the rig in rough weathers and high seas, it said.

”ICG Ship Shoor was diverted immediately for rescue operations. Meanwhile, ICG Helicopter (CG 858) was also positioned from Rajkot to Okha for evacuation,” the statement said.

In a nerve-racking operation, the ICG evacuated 26 crew by the evening of June 12. Consequently, the operation resumed with first light on Tuesday which resulted in safe evacuation of remaining 24 members, bringing all 50 crew to safety ashore, it said.

”The operation has been completed successfully,” the statement said.

Biparjoy, the first cyclone in the Arabian Sea this year, underwent rapid intensification on June 6 and 7, escalating from a cyclonic circulation to a very severe cyclonic storm in just 48 hours, defying earlier predictions, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.