Coast Guard rescues 78 pilgrims from grounded ferry off Mumbai coast

Indian Coast Guard personnel today rescued 78 pilgrims, including 38 women and children, crammed on a ferry whose engine got stalled after sucking in a "mud patch" off the Mumbai coast.

The ferry boat 'Navrang', carrying 78 pilgrims, got stranded after the engine sucked in a mud patch and stalled on way to a Shiva temple in the Elephanta caves from Nhava Sheva on the occasion of Maha Shivratri, Coast Guard sources said. 

Coast guard rescues passengers from the ferry.

Mumbai police were alerted and they rushed in with boats, including some hired ones, and tried to pull it with ropes but the efforts went in vain because of high tide.

Coast Guard then pressed into service a helicopter but it was difficult to winch the passengers of the boat which was chock-a-block with people all of whom were standing. There were also no life jacket on the boat, sources said.

A hovercraft was then deployed and all passengers rescued safely, they said.

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