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Indian Coast Guard rescues Sri Lankan fishermen

Jun 13, 2010 5:18:16 AM - itnnews.lk

Five crew members of a Sri Lankan fishing boat were rescued by Indian Coast Guard off Andhra Pradesh coast three weeks after they lost communication with their vessel owner.

The Coast Guard launched a search and rescue operation in response to a request from Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai. The boat was located 41 nautical miles off Kalingapatnam on Friday. The boat, ‘Pearl Ishara-3’, which departed Dondra fishing harbour in the Matara District on May 6th had lost communication with the boat owner since May 23rd.

The Indian Coast Guard, Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Chennai was requested by the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai, to initiate a search and rescue the boat. After a coordinated search involving ships and aircraft of the coast guard, the boat was found by its ship ‘Sagar’. The boat was safely towed to Vishakhapatnam.

A release by the Indian Coast Guard said the boat crew would be repatriated on completion of formalities. It, however, did not mention why the boat crew lost communication and drifted to Indian waters.