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* Sri Lanka Navy rescues 138 drifting Bangladeshi and Myanmar nationals
Sun, Feb 3, 2013, 01:00 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 03, Colombo: The Sri Lanka Navy, in a 20-hour search and rescue operation launched Saturday evening, rescued 138 Bangladeshi and Myanmar nationals who were drifting in a boat about 50 nautical miles east of Oluvil in the eastern seaboard.

Navy Spokesperson Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said that one person among the migrants was found dead in the overcrowded boat that was sinking.

According to the Navy, the group consisting of 127 Bangladeshis and 11 Myanmar Nationals included 132 males, 3 females and 3 children. The group had been stranded at sea for 10 days when the Navy rescued them in response to a request made by the Sri Lanka Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources which had been alerted of the sinking boat by a crew in a local fishing boat.

The Navy had deployed four naval crafts to rescue the foreign migrants after receiving information about the sinking boat.

The starved and dehydrated migrants were transferred to navy vessels and brought to Oluvil Fishery Harbor this morning. Among them, 4 men and 2 women have been admitted to the Akkaraipattu Base Hospital for treatment for acute dehydration, the Navy said.

Sri Lanka Navy medical personnel had provided emergency medical treatment and food to the rescued migrants who were in various stages of dehydration. One male had died in the ordeal.

Navy says further investigations are in progress.

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