Frightening videos have emerged of a tugboat Arabian Sea, a week after Cyclone Tauktae swept past India’s west coast. The tugboat Varaprada sank after Cyclone Tauktae hit Mumbai coast on May 17 morning, leading to the death of 11 of its 13 crew members, when it was returning to Mumbai harbour.
One of the videos shows a young man, identified as 22-year-old Sooraj Chauhan, helplessly watching as one angry gray wave after another breaks off pieces of Varaprada’s wooden frame.
The deck is lined with wooden planks, rope threads and two rubber tires. A particularly large wave causes the entire boat to tilt dangerously to the right and rise up a wall of water, seemingly intent on swallowing the entire boat. The video shows the boat alone, with only an angry grey Arabian Sea for the company.
A second, and vicious, wave thrashes the Varaprada, which is rocked violently by the impact, and another massive wave washes over the boat, which seems somehow to have become smaller before the sheer size of the waves attacking it.
Another video shows the Varaprada being thrown into the air as a massive wave slams into its left side, sending powerful sprays of wind and water across the foredeck and causing the boat to rock so hard that a huge wave from the right floods the entire front of the ship.
The third video shows Varprada slowly but steadily drowning.
Varaprada was one of at least two boats that had been sunk by Taukta last week. The second was a barge – the P-305 which was carrying 261 people.