The naval barge, anchored off Pamban on its way to Karwar, could not cross the Pamban rail bridge on Friday as the towing vessel ‘ran aground’ and efforts are on to pull it to the channel.

A Port official said both the barge and towing vessel were floating after they were anchored at the early hours of Friday. However, the towing vessel, while floating, drifted and caught in the rocky area.

The vessel was being pulled to the channel with the help of two mechanised fishing boats, the official said adding the salvage operation, which was launched on Friday afternoon was expected to be completed by the evening. “We will pull the vessel to the channel by this evening,” the official said.

The defence vessel and the towing vessel, coming from Kolkata, would cross the rail bridge on Saturday after obtaining permission from the Railway authorities, he said.