Special Correspondent

RAMANATHAPURAM: A group of 15 Sri Lankan refugees, who were struggling for life without food and water for more than three days at an unmanned islet near International Maritime Boundary Line, were finally rescued on Tuesday.

When a small vessel of Coast Guard reached the fourth islet, where they were dropped by a Sri Lankan boat on Saturday, three refugees including two children, were found in an unconscious state. Others looked very weak.

Most of them vomited when they ate snacks and consumed drinks offered to them due to the poor health condition. The refugees including six women and three children spent three nights in the islet braving the extreme weather condition in the sea.

The refugees said that they sought the help of a few fishermen. But the fishermen refused to retrieve them fearing police action. However, they promised them that they would inform their plight to the Navy and the Coast Guard. They appealed to the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to rescue the refugees immediately on information.