Navy plays a classic role helping stranded fishers at sea

Responding to request for assistance by the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to the Maritime Rescue Coordinating Center (MRCC) Colombo, Sri Lanka Navy initiated swift action to reach out to several multi day fishing trawlers and their crew members in distress at sea, in the past couple of days.

Taking an opportunity to lend its helping hand again, an SLN Offshore Patrol Vessel extended towing assistance to a multiday fishing trawler called ‘Jayaruwan 01’ that was adrift at sea 61 nautical miles (about 113km) southeast of Kirinda with 06 fishers, having gone into an engine failure. After days of rescue operation in unforgiving sea state, the distressed vessel along with its crew was safely guided landward, on 05th August 2020.

In a similar turn of event, another multiday fishing trawler – ‘Janaka 04’ drifting in rough seas 18 nautical miles (about 33km) north of Mullaitivu was in receipt of towing assistance from an SLN Fast Gun Boat which was on surveillance patrol. The distressed fishing trawler with 06 fishermen on board faced with this unfortunate occurrence at sea, as it experienced an abrupt failure in engine. The distressed vessel under careful handling of the Navy reached ashore on 04th August 2020.

In another Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) operation, an SLN Fast Attack Craft, on 02nd August, undertook a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) mission in the sea area about 50 nautical miles (92km) southeast of Galle, in which a fisherman down with a severe chest pain onboard the multiday fishing trawler - ‘Yasuru Putha’ was brought ashore for treatment. Upon reaching the Galle harbour, the patient was rushed to the Teaching Hospital, Karapitiya for further treatment.

Remaining true to its bounden duty, the Navy shoulders the responsibility for maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) operations in Sri Lanka’s Search and Rescue Region and continues to pay its attention to distress calls despite the time and effort involved in such operations.