All 23 workers who were left stranded on a flooded barge in the Arabian Sea off Ullal in Karnataka were rescued by the Coast Guard on Sunday.
"A Coast Guard ship rescued all the workers stranded on Barge Ibis. The rescue operation began at 6.30 a.m. and ended at 9.30 a.m.," Mangaluru Deputy Commissioner of Police KM Shantaraju told IANS.
The Coast Guard ship had evacuated four of the 27 workers off the barge on Saturday before the rescue operation was called off due to inclement weather.
"The Coast Guard swung into action when it received a distress call at 5 pm on Saturday from the workers on the barge, located at 4 km south of Old Port of Mangaluru," said Shantaraju.
The workers on board the dredger were engaged in operations when it got flooded.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Minister UT Khader has ordered an inquiry by the Deputy Commissioner of Mangaluru into the accident.
Four members of the crew aboard the barge were rescued by the Coast Guard earlier on Sunday.
The barge cum dredger, owned by a private firm which had been entrusted with the job of breakwater (a wall which is constructed to break the waves and protect the coast), was working on placing tetrapods on the beams on Saturday morning.
The rescued crew on the barge told media persons that distress signals were sent out at 3.30 pm but the response was late.
The Coast Guard sent patrol vessel â€˜Amartyaâ€™ to the rescue of the stranded workers which reached the spot at 6.40 pm.
The rescue vessel let down a life boat towards the barge and managed to rescue four workers. However, due to bad weather conditions, the lifeboat could not be deployed again.
Heavy winds and darkness made it difficult to rescue all the persons, reports said.