Navy battled with rough seas for more than 03 days in a bid to save a life of a critically ill fisherman and brought the patient ashore on 20th July 2018.
The 54 years old skipper of the multiday fishing trawler ‘Neli Duwa’ which had left the Trincomalee harbour for fishing on 03rd of July, had fell seriously ill due to high fever and dehydration off 355 nautical miles (640 km) from Trincomalee harbour.
Based on information by the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Northern Naval Command dispatched SLNS Ranawikrama (35m Long Chinese made Gun Boat) from Kankasanthurai harbour in the morning on 18th July to reach for the fishing vessel. The ship sailed about 100 nautical miles from Point Pedro had to return the harbour due to technical failure in the steering system, caused due to rough sea conditions.
Thereupon, Fast Attack Craft P 4445 attached to Eastern Naval Command was dispatched from Trincomalee in the evening of 18th July. As the craft proceed about 80 nautical miles, the rough sea conditions continued to batter and the craft compelled to abandon its mission to return harbour due to couple of her crew members started vomiting blood.
Knowing the fact that rough sea condition was a critical factor leading to hamper the rescue operation, Navy still stood up in the mission of rescuing one person. Once again, Eastern Naval Command dispatched another craft, P 4444 from Trincomalee in the morning on 19th July and it reached the location of the trawler at about 160 nautical miles off Foul Point, Trincomalee. By this time, on SLN’s request Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Sarang’ has also reached to the area to assist with first aid treatment. Having transferred the patient with a guardian to the naval craft they were safely brought to Naval Dockyard Trincomalee. Subsequently, the patient was rushed to General Hospital Trincomalee for further treatment.
Eastern Naval Command sailed out SLNS Samudura in the morning on 20th to shadow the trawler heading Port of Trincomalee without its skipper on 21 July.
At the end, Sri Lanka Navy had deployed 1 Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), 1 Fast Gun Boat, 2 Fast Attack Craft and Indian Coast Guard used 1 OPV to assist a single fisherman in distress in deep seas, demonstrating the very purpose why the men in blues will maintain their vigilance and commitment at the need of the hour.
On arrival to the harbour, the OIC and the crew of P 4444 were congratulated and commended for their commitment despite all odds.