Earlier in the day, a Navy helicopter rescued a tugboat crew off New Mangalore

As Cyclone Tauktae hurtles through the north Arabian Sea and brings heavy rain to Maharashtra and Gujarat, shipping in the area has been hit.

On Monday afternoon, the Indian Navy announced it was despatching multiple warships to assist barges drifting off Mumbai.

One of the first requests for assistance came from barge 'P 305', which was, reportedly, associated with ONGC operations at Bombay High, which is about 70km south west of Mumbai.

The Indian Navy tweeted, "On receipt of a request for assistance for Barge 'P305' adrift off Heera Oil Fields in Bombay High area with 273 personnel onboard, warship INS Kochi was sailed with a despatch for Search and Rescue (SAR) assistance."

The Defence PRO for Mumbai tweeted that the INS Kochi, an advanced destroyer, would reach the area by 4pm and commence rescue operations. The INS Talwar, a frigate, is being readied to join the efforts.

The Navy announced that the INS Kolkata, another destroyer, has sailed to respond to an SOS from the barge GAL Constructor that had 137 people on board and which was about 8nm from Mumbai.

Earlier in the day, the Indian Navy despatched a helicopter to assist a tug boat, the Coromondel Supporter XI, off New Mangalore. The vessel had lost propulsion due to the storm and was flooded. The Navy rescued four crew members of the vessel.