NEW DELHI: As many as 17 fishermen were rescued from a sinking fishing boat `Vaishno Devi Mata` off Mumbai coast as Cyclone Kyarr seems all set to intensify into an extremely severe cyclonic storm. According to Indian Meteorological Department, the sea condition is "likely to be high to very high over the east-central Arabian Sea during the next 24 hours and phenomenal thereafter in the wake of Cyclone Kyarr.
The fishing boat had developed engine failure and had started flooding in very heavy seas and wind speeds of about 45 knots. Following which, she tethered herself to a disused state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) platform in the vicinity, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) said in a statement.
Indian Naval Ship (INS) Teg, a frigate of the Western Fleet returning from deployment in the Arabian Sea, was immediately diverted to the area to provide support and undertake rescue operations. After making multiple attempts, it was able to rescue all 17 fishermen on board the fishing boat to safety. Minutes after all fishermen were onboard INS Teg, the fishing boat sank, the ICG further said.
The 'extremely severe' cyclonic storm Kyarr over the east-central Arabian Sea moved towards west northwestwards with a speed of 9 kmph on Saturday and is very likely to move west-northwestward towards the Oman coast at a speed of 14 kilometres per hour during the next five days.
Light to moderate rainfall at a few places is very likely over coastal districts of Maharashtra, Goa and North Karnataka during next 12 hours, the IMD said in its cyclone update. Gale wind with speed reaching 185-195 kmph gusting to 215 kmph, is prevailing around the system centre over the east-central Arabian Sea and is very likely to increase gradually becoming 210-220 kmph gusting to 240 kmph by Sunday afternoon over east-central and adjoining west-central the Arabian Sea around the system centre.
Since October 18, the ICG has been issuing weather warnings to all stakeholders and fishermen urging them to refrain from proceeding to sea. The fishermen are also advised not to venture into the east-central Arabian Sea till October 29 and into the west-central Arabian Sea from October 28 to October 31