Mumbai: Recounting cyclone tauktae – remembering lost lives. A commemorative event was held at Mumbai on 17 May 2022 under the aegis of the ONGC in remembrance and Recounting of the innocent and invaluable lives lost to Cyclone Tauktae in the offshore areas along the Maharashtra coast.
It may be recalled that the West coast of India was hit by Cyclone Tauktae on 17 May 2021 and that the nation’s offshore oil and natural gas industry off Mumbai bore its fury, leaving several vessels and their crews in utter distress. The Indian Navy launched an unprecedented search and rescue operation, pressing its frontline destroyers and frigates into harm’s way, right into the eye of the storm, to rescue hundreds of lives that were at stake. Close cooperation with the Coast Guard, the ONGC, DG Shipping, state government agencies, oil handling companies and other stakeholders, its operations resulted in the evacuation of hundreds of survivors under unprecedented hazardous sea conditions.
Speaking on the occasion, Rear Admiral Mahesh Singh, NM, Flag Officer Offshore Defence Advisory Group (FODAG) and Advisor to the GoI on Offshore Defence, paid his homage and respect to personnel that lost their lives at sea while on duty, and exhorted all agencies to do their very best to derive right lessons from the tragic incident, strengthen inter-agency coordination and refine SOPs to ensure and strengthen safety of life, property and assets at sea.
In addition to hearing accounts of survivors, the event also saw presentations being made by Captain Prashant Handu, Commanding Officer, INS Kolkata, on the search and rescue operations, Lt Cdr Krishna Gopal (retd) on cyclones, and Heads of Safety and Environment, ONGC and L&T, on other aspects of safety at sea.
A two minute silence was observed on the occasion as a mark of respect to the lives lost on that fateful day.