Sri Lanka Navy Rescues 28 Australia-Bound Persons

Sri Lanka Navy Rescues 28 Australia-Bound Persons

Sri Lanka Navy rescued 28 persons, who were illegally heading for Australia, while drifting in the deep sea off South-eastern Sri Lanka. They were safely brought to the Galle Fisheries Harbour on 29th July 2012, having bee nrescued from the 11-day drifting ordeal at sea. Among the rescued are 23 men, 4 women and a child residing in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mullaithivu, Batticaloa and Wellawatte.

The group had the harrowing experience at deep sea when the multi-day trawler they were travelling in had developed an engine failure 300 nautical miles off Valachchenai. The trawler named “Star Brothers 2” had left from Valachchenai on 13th June with the group onboard and begun to drift on 15th July due to the mechanical mishap after a month-long sailing in the rough seas.

On information received of the situation, SLN alerted the French tanker, “MT Famenne”, which was en route to UAE from China, to render assistance. The trawler in distress was located by the French tanker on 26th July and the group was subsequently rescued. Thereafter, Sri Lanka Naval Ship Samudura took them over on 28th July, 10 nautical miles off Galle for transfer ashore.

The incident is a clear indication of the risks involved in illegal migration. If not for SLN’s timely action, 28 precious lives would have perished on the high seas with no one taking responsibility, leaving only the kith and kin to lament over the folly. Therefore, the Public are reminded not to fall for traps laid by the unscrupulous human smugglers, who amass vast sums of money on false promises of lucrative employment opportunities and financial gains overseas. SLN, on humanitarian grounds, has rescued a number of victims from tragedies at sea in its Search and Rescue Region, using its assets and professional expertise for the SAR missions.

Naval Today Staff, July 30, 2012; Image: Sri Lanka Navy