Mumbai, June 22: Navy helicopters rescued 20 persons on board a listing merchant ship off Vasai coast in neighbouring Palghar district on Monday.
"While 19 were airlifted and brought to INS Shikra in Mumbai, one more on board the vessel was airlifted by a second Navy chopper," a Defence spokesperson told PTI.
The Navy got a request at 7 am for immediate evacuation of those on board the ship which was listing precariously, he said.
According to the Defence spokesperson, the information was received around midnight by the Indian Navy that a vessel in distress 'Jindal Kamakshi' which was 40 nautical miles from Mumbai harbour and 25 nautical miles off Vasai coast has listed heavily.
The distress message said the vessel listed heavily, with 20 persons on board and requested assistance, the official said, adding the cause of the listing was not confirmed.
The Indian Navy had launched one Seaking helicopter to provide immediate assistance and a ship was also deployed for rendering assistance, he said. He further said the vessel had counter ballasted (flood opposite tank) to improve stability.