Five Sri Lankan fishermen rescued, one missing | Sunday Observer

Five Sri Lankan fishermen rescued, one missing

9 January, 2022

Five Sri Lankan fishermen were rescued and another missing and feared dead after their vessel tilted and took in water in choppy seas off the Maldivian coast, the Navy said yesterday. The vessel and crew had left a fishing harbour in Beruwala on January 4. They lost communication with their ground handlers the following day, Navy spokesman Capt. Indika De Silva said.

He said the surviving members of the crew had been clinging on to the wreck until they were taken by a foreign-flagged merchant vessel that was sailing towards the Andaman Islands on the Indian coast.

The Beruwala police had alerted the Navy on January 5 after the vessel’s owner had told the authorities that he had lost contact with the crew, Capt. De Silva said.

He said that the Navy had thereafter sent an SOS alert to marine traffic in the region and to the authorities in the Maldives.

The foreign merchant vessel that had been alerted following this message traced the distressed crew and rescued them, he said. The five rescued fishermen were expected to reach Beruwala sometime later yesterday, Capt. De Silva said.

He said that the crew had survived for three days without fresh water and food but were reportedly in a stable condition. The boat had apparently capsized in turbulent weather that was prevalent in that region at the time but this is yet to be confirmed, De Silva said.