Navy rescues a dinghy stranded at sea

Sri Lanka Navy, with the mediation of its Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC Colombo), sprang into action to rescue a dinghy with 02 fishermen swept away to the Indian waters, on 15th January 2021. The dinghy that departed Silawathura for fishing practices had faced this distress due to a failure in its outboard motor (OBM).

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-2657 PTM) that had gone missing, while out on a fishing voyage from Silavathura area on 13th January. Thus, Sri Lanka Navy promptly commenced a search and rescue operation in the area where the missing dinghy had been and the development in to the incident was communicated with Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Chennai as well.

As the search and rescue operation panned out, MRCC Chennai had informed MRCC Colombo about the spotting of missing dinghy by an Indian Coast Guard ship in Indian waters, after it was drifted beyond the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) having gone into a failure in OBM. Accordingly, an Indian Coast Guard Ship had assisted the stranded dinghy with 02 fishermen to reach the IMBL, from which it was safely towed shoreward by Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship ‘Samaraksha’ on 15th January.

The search and rescue operation was carried out adhering to health and safety guidelines with the onset of pandemic situation. MRCC Colombo, in 2020 and thus far in 2021, has responded to distress calls of 48 merchant ships and 123 local fishing vessels in Search and Rescue Region of Sri Lanka. In the same vein, MRCC Colombo has assisted the rescue of 98 seafarers and fishermen with danger posed on life due to illness and other eventualities, while at sea.