28 Australia-bound Sri Lankans drifting in South-eastern Deep Sea rescued
Sri Lanka Navy rescued 28 Sri Lankans heading for Australia, while drifting in the deep sea off South-eastern Sri Lanka. They were safely brought to the Galle Fisheries Harbor on 29th July 2012, having rescued from the 11-day drifting ordeal at sea.
Among the rescued were 26 Tamils and 2 Muslims, and out of them are 23 men, 04 women and a child residing in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mullaithivu, Batticaloa and Wellawatte.
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’s sailing in rough seas.
The group had met with the harrowing experience at deep sea when the trawler they were travelling developed an engine failure 300 nautical miles off Valachchenai.
They called their friends in Australia with a satellite phone they had in the boat (indicating a more organized network of support for such moves) and requested for a rescue.
However Australian authorities alerted Sri Lankan authorities.
On information received of the situation, Sri Lankan Navy 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 at 7 a.m today.
According to the Sri Lankan Navy, “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,”
- Asian Tribune –