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Fisherman on sunken Indian poaching vessel missing, naval rescue operation underway

Two fishermen who were aboard a sunken Indian fishing boat poaching in Sri Lankan waters across the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) northwest of the Kovilan Lighthouse yesterday (18), have been rescued according to the Navy, whereas the navy’s search and rescue operation is still underway to find another fisherman who went missing following the incident.

Naval units on patrol had been engaged in chasing away Indian fishing trawlers poaching in Sri Lankan waters via the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) last evening.

While the said task was being put into practice, one of the Indian fishing trawlers, with aggressive maneuvers, in resistance of chase away, was on an attempt to evade from the scene making it collided with SLN Craft in operation, the Navy said in a statement.

In the process, it ultimately descended having lost its stability as well as due to the rough sea condition. Springing quickly into action, the Navy has managed to rescue two fishermen aboard the sunken fishing vessel soon after the unfortunate occurrence and has been engaging in a search and rescue operation since last evening to locate another fisherman who is said to be on the sunken fishing vessel.

The search and rescue operation is being augmented by a team of Navy divers, Fast Attack Craft and Inshore Patrol Craft. As one of the SLN Fast Attack Craft was damaged in the collision it has been brought to the Kankesanthurai harbour for repairs.

The development of the incident has been informed to the Indian authorities by the Navy and further investigation into the incident is currently underway, the statement confirmed.