The fishermen were stranded in Jaffna because of bad weather conditions

The Sri Lankan Navy pulled out six more Tamil Nadu fishermen on December 31 from its waters in the north, and handed them over to the state authorities for further action. With this, the total number of fishermen rescued by the Sri Lankan Navy in the past fortnight has gone up to 35.

All the fishermen are stranded in Jaffna because of bad weather conditions along the Tamil Nadu coast. “The fishermen want to go back with their boats. The nine boats need some repair. For this, equipment has to arrive from India,” an official said.

In the latest instance, following an alert from the Eastern Command of the Indian Coast Guard and the Tamil Nadu Fisheries department, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka requested Sri Lankan assistance to trace five missing Indian fishing boats and 21 fishermen who had left from Mallipatinam in Tamil Nadu.

The Navy said that its Northern, North-central and Eastern Commands launched extensive search and rescue operations in the northern and eastern seas on humanitarian grounds. “As of now, two Indian fishing boats have been rescued along with six fishermen onboard. The Search and Rescue Operations continue to locate other missing Indian fishing boats,” it said.

The Navy added that one Indian fishing boat was found by the naval personnel attached to SLNS Wasamba of the Northern Naval Command after it ran aground on the beach south-west of Delft on December 30. The boat had left the Mallipatinam Fishery Harbour on December 26 and had drifted towards Sri Lankan waters due to adverse weather. The four fishermen on board were provided with food and shelter and later handed over to Delft Police for onward action. The other Indian fishing boat was rescued north of Delft by SLN vessels on December 31 and brought ashore safely along with two Indian fishermen found onboard.