Sri Lanka Navy, with the facilitation of Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC Colombo) stationed at Navy Headquarters, leapt into action today to rescue 02 fishermen aboard a dinghy that was swept away to the Indian waters.
The dinghy that had ventured out for fishing practice from South Bar, Mannar was in distress due to a technical failure.
In response to a request for assistance by the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Sri Lanka Navy was pressed into action to locate this dinghy (Register No. OFRP –A-950 MNR) that had gone missing, while out on a fishing voyage from South Bar on 23rd February 2021.
Thus, Sri Lanka Navy swiftly commenced a search and rescue operation in the area where the missing dinghy was said to be and the development into the incident was communicated with Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Chennai by MRCC Colombo. As the search and rescue operation was going on, MRCC Chennai had informed MRCC Colombo of the whereabouts of the missing dinghy, having spotted it by an Indian Coast Guard ship in Indian waters, after it drifted beyond the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).
Accordingly, an Indian Coast Guard Ship had assisted the ill-fated dinghy with fishermen to reach the IMBL, from which it was safely towed shoreward by Sri Lanka Naval Ship (SLNS) ‘Suranimila’ today.
The search and rescue operation was carried out adhering to strict health and safety guidelines in place due to COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, MRCC Colombo, thus far in the year 2021, has responded to distress calls of 05 merchant ships and 21 fishing vessels in the Search and Rescue Region of Sri Lanka. In the same vein, MRCC Colombo has assisted the rescue of 25 fishermen whose lives were in danger at sea, due to illness and other eventualities.