Feb 17, Colombo: The Myanmar nationals rescued by the Sri Lankan Navy yesterday had told the police that nearly 100 more Myanmar asylum seekers are missing at sea.
The 32 Myanmar asylum seekers have told the Galle police that 130 asylum seekers in three boats have set out to sea heading for Australia two months ago. It is not clear whether the boats had made the journey to Australia or lost at sea.
Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) rescued the 32 Myanmar nationals Saturday after receiving information about the asylum seekers from fishermen who spotted the sinking wooden boat in the deep seas 250 nautical miles east of Panama.
All 32 people have been brought Galle Harbor Sunday morning and rushed to the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital for treatment for acute dehydration, the Navy said. Four of them were critically ill, and the Navy medical personnel had provided emergency medical treatment to the rescued.
According to the Navy, the group, consisting of 31 adult males and a boy, had been at sea without food for 21 days when they were rescued in response to a request made by the Sri Lanka's Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
SLN Offshore Patrol Vessel Sagara attached to the Southern Naval Command has carried out the rescue mission.
Earlier this month the Sri Lanka navy in a 20-hour search and rescue (SAR) operation rescued 138 Bangladeshi and Myanmar nationals who were at danger in a overcrowded wooden vessel that was sinking in the seas 50 nautical miles east of Oluwil.