July 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy Sunday rescued 28 illegal migrants stranded in the high seas after their boat developed a mechanical failure.
Navy spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said the would-be asylum seekers fleeing to Australia have left Valachennai on July 13.
They were stranded about 300 nautical miles away from land in the high seas when the boat suffered a mechanical failure, the navy spokesman said.
The Navy had sought the assistance of a merchant vessel to rescue the distressed group and brought them to the Galle Harbor on a Navy vessel, Commander Warnakulasuriya said.
According to the Navy Spokesman, there were four females and a child in the mostly male group of asylum seekers.
The Navy on two separate occasions on Saturday arrested 51 illegal migrants bound for Australia. A group of 31 people was arrested when the Navy personnel intercepted their multi-day fishing trawler about 10 nautical miles west of Negombo while another 20 people were arrested close to the Lellawa beach in Negombo.
All 51 were males and residents of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Point Pedro, Trincomalee, Negombo and Mannar, the Navy said.