The Indian Navy Ship INS Makar has located the wreckage of the Tugboat Varaprada in the Arabian Sea where it had capsized last week during the cyclone Tauktae fury, an official said here on Monday. Divers are now underwater to find out if any more missing persons are trapped in the tugboat during the devastating natural calamity last week.
The development came two days after the wreckage of the Barge Papaa-305 was also found in the vicinity of the Bombay High Fields, around 175 off Mumbai in high seas, where it sank on May 17.
On Sunday, the IN announced that a total of 86 bodies have been recovered from the Arabian Sea so far, including 70 from the two vessels that went under and 16 which were washed ashore on Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts.
There were 261 persons on board the Papaa-305 and 13 others on the tugboat, an anchor-handling vessel that was towing the Barge GAL Constructor.
Incidentally, all the 137 crew members on the Barge GAL Constructor were rescued on May 18 after it was grounded near the Colaba Point.
Meanwhile, two more bodies were found on the shore of Gujarat's Valsad district on Sunday and they are suspected to be of the missing victims of the barge P305 and a tugboat that sank in the Arabian Sea during Cyclone Tauktae, a police official said.
With this, six bodies have so far been recovered from two places here in south Gujarat since Saturday evening, Valsad Superintendent of Police Rajdeepsinh Jhala said.
On Saturday, four bodies were washed ashore- three on the Tithal beach and one on a beach in Dungri village.
Two more bodies were found at the Tithal beach on Sunday morning. The police have recovered their identity cards and some documents and further investigation is underway, the official said.
"From their uniform and life jackets, it appears they are the missing victims of the barge or the tugboat that sank off the Mumbai coast during cyclone Tauktae," Jhala said.