Cyclonic winds claim 26 fishermen

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Twenty six fishermen died at sea while 29 fishermen are reported missing along with 37 fishing vessels due to adverse wind conditions affecting several parts of the island.

Disaster Management Centre (DMC) sources yesterday said rescue operations were continuing in search of the missing fishermen.

Navy and Air Force have deployed ships and helicopters in a joint rescue mission to trace the fishermen caught in stormy weather off the south western coast of the island.

The Air Force deployed a Bell 412 helicopter while the Navy deployed three ships-Jaya Sagara, Suranimala, Sayura - and five Fast Attack Craft to rescue the fishermen and fishing vessels affected by bad weather.

Three bodies of fishermen were washed ashore in the south western coastal areas of Dehiwela and Beruwela.

Twenty two others injured were rescued in the southern coastal area of Balapitiya and admitted to the Balapitiya Hospital. Four fishermen rescued by the Navy after their boat capsised off Dehiwala due to strong winds, were admitted to the Colombo National Hospital.

The fishermen were missing on Friday night after their boats capsised following strong winds and heavy rain caused by the activation of the south-west monsoon. Several fishermen were rescued by an Air Force helicopter and an aircraft while Navy divers in three vessels rescued more.

The Navy’s Rapid Response Rescue and Relief Squadron have also been deployed in the affected coastal areas for relief operations. Fishermen are requested to refrain from venturing into southern and western seas since the seas have become rough.

 

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