Sri Lanka: SLNS Samudura Rescues Stranded Australia Bound Persons
Sri Lanka Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel, SLNS Samudura, rescued 52 Australia bound persons while stranded in the southern deep seas due to an engine defect in their multi-day trawler. The trawler had left from Chilawon 26th July and the tragedy had struck on 23rd August after a month into its illegal voyage.
The over-crowded trawler had been first sighted by a fishing trawler named “KivindiPutha” after drifting for 20 days. KivindiPutha’s crew had informed the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources about the incident and the Navy was subsequently requested to render assistance.
SLNS Samudura was dispatched accordingly to the location and the fear-stricken passengers were rescued approximately 225 nautical miles off Great Basses on 14th September 2012. All were found famished and suffering from dehydration due to lack of food and water as they had run out of their scanty stock of provisions. Naval personnel provided them with emergency medical treatment as well as food and refreshments, having taken them on board. The rescued that included 38 Tamils, 9 Sinhalese and 5 Muslims, are now being brought to Galle Harbour.
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, September 17, 2012; Image: Sri Lanka Navy