In a 20-hour SAR operation, Sri Lanka Navy rescued 138 persons of Bangladeshi and Myanmar nationality whose overcrowded wooden vessel began to sink in the seas 50 nautical miles east of Oluwil on 02nd February 2013.
All were brought to the Oluvil Fisheries Harbour and 6 of them, 4 males and 2 females, were rushed to the Akkaraipattu Base Hospital for treatment for acute dehydration.
The group consisting of 127 Bangladeshis and 11 Myanmar Nationals that included 132 males, 3 females and 03 children, had been stranded at sea for 10 days when SLN rescued them in a response to a request made by the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. The rickety vessel had been first sighted by a local fishing craft named “Manju 4” which had alerted the DFAR. An SLN FAC (P414) on routine patrol was immediately directed to the location followed by the dispatch of SLN Gun Boat Udara and back up FAC (P439) for the rescue mission.
SLN medical personnel provided emergency medical treatment to the rescued who were in various stages of dehydration due to the ordeal. One male had died in the incident and further investigations in progress.
Naval Today Staff, February 4, 2013; Image: Sri Lanka Navy