Oct 18, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy expects to alert the Australian authorities on a missing trawler that has presumably been stolen during a mid-sea attack.
The fishing trawler which had set sail on Sunday (14) from the Kudaawella fishing harbor in Matara with a group of fishermen had come under attack in deep sea from another group, earlier believed to be pirates, in a smaller boat.
The attackers critically injured two fishermen who were later rescued by two merchant vessels and handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy.
The injured fishermen have said that another three fishermen of their group were thrown overboard and they remain missing.
Meanwhile some reports said the skipper of the trawler joined the attackers.
The smaller boat used for the attack on fishermen at sea in Kudawella had been taken into custody, the police said. The Navy has been searching for the fishermen's trawler.
The authorities now believe the attackers are asylum seekers who stole the modern trawler in an attempt to head to Australia.
Navy media spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya has told local media that measures would be taken to brief the Australian Navy and the Air Force about the missing trawler.
Meanwhile, Australian media reported that Australian Federal Police are assessing reports and any other relevant information, and are in liaison with Sri Lankan authorities.