MRCC Colombo coordinates bringing ashore distressed local multiday fishing trawler

A local fishing trawler in distress was rescued by the Indian Coast Guard with the coordination of the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Colombo. The rescued trawler is now being towed back to Sri Lanka by another local fishing trawler. The troubled fishing trawler experienced an engine malfunction while navigating in the northern waters, approximately 91 kilometers away from Point Pedro, and was adrift, edging closer towards Indian territory.

The local fishing trawler ‘Kalpani' (Reg No. IMUL-A-2473 GLE) was reported to have left the Cod Bay Fisheries Harbour, Trincomalee with 06 fishermen on 22nd March 2024 for a fishing voyage. Meanwhile, the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR) on 01st April alerted MRCC Colombo established in the Navy Headquarters that the fishing trawler had ceased communication since 28th March and requested assistance to locate the missing trawler.

The distressed fishing trawler activated its VMS distress alarm after experiencing engine failure and was left adrift. An initial investigation into the incident indicated that the distressed vessel was located within the Indian Search and Rescue Region (SRR).

Accordingly, MRCC Colombo relayed the developments to MRCC Chennai which had directed an Indian Coast Guard craft patrolling nearby for the assistance of the fishing trawler. Having located the distressed fishing trawler, the Indian Coast Guard craft had made arrangements to tow the fishing trawler in trouble to Sri Lankan shores by SLFV Sadewmi (IMUL-A-0820MTR), another local fishing trawler.

Meanwhile, on 05th April, during an inspection of the vessels, the Indian Coast Guard was notified that a fisherman aboard the vessel 'Kalpani', which was being towed to home waters, had suddenly taken ill. Following this, a helicopter from the Indian Coast Guard transported the sick fisherman to the ex-Rela Hospital in Chrompet, Chennai, India, for urgent medical treatment on the same day. The developments in this regard were informed to the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources by MRCC Colombo. Moreover, the Navy remains vigilant over the fishing trawler being towed.

Working closely with MRCC Colombo, the Navy remains vigilant in its readiness to offer assistance to distressed maritime and fishing communities. This commitment extends beyond Sri Lanka's SRR to include neighboring SRRs.