Mumbai: Indian Navy today rescued 20 crew members of drifting merchant vessel Jindal Kamakshi off the Vasai coast in Palghar district.
The operation was carried out under adverse weather conditions, almost 40 nautical miles northwest of Mumbai harbour.
All rescued crew members are going therough medical check-up.
"While 19 were airlifted and brought to INS Shikra in Mumbai, one more on board the vessel was airlifted by a second Navy chopper," a defence spokesperson said.
The rescue operation was carried out by Seaking 42C helicopter of the Navy. The rescue team was on its way to the Shikra naval air station in Colaba along with the evacuees.
The Navy had deployed its rescue team after the merchant vessel requested for help late last night.
"Information was received around midnight by the Indian Navy that a vessel in distress Jindal Kamakshi which was 40 nautical miles from Mumbai harbour and 25 nautical miles off Vasai coast had listed heavily," a Defence spokesperson had said.
"The distress message said the vessel listed heavily, with 20 persons onboard and requested assistance," the official said, adding the cause of the listing was not confirmed.
"Considering the sea state in the area, we are keeping a close watch on the situation and keeping close to evacuate the vessel should the situation worsen," he added.
The Indian Navy had launched one Seaking helicopter to provide immediate assistance and a ship was also deployed for rendering assistance, he said.