The Indian Navy on Saturday dispatched two specialised diving teams from Mumbai to augment the search for 26 missing crew of a barge and tugboat Varaprada that sank during Cyclone Tauktae on Monday.

The teams on board INS Makar, which is also equipped with a side-scan sonar, and INS Tarasa sailed out early morning on Saturday from Mumbai, said commander Mehul Karnik, chief public relations officer of the Western Naval Command.

The barge was deployed at an unmanned platform in Heera oil fields, one of the largest ONGC rigs in the Arabian sea. As Cyclone Tauktae hit the Mumbai coast, the barge got de-anchored on Sunday night. The barge sank around 7 pm on Monday in a very choppy sea and rough weather, which made the search and rescue operation one of the most challenging operations undertaken by the Navy in four decades.

Afcons Infrastructure, which leads the consortium that chartered the barge and hired its crew, said there were 261 members on board. The barge sank about 40 nautical miles west off Mumbai.