May 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy, today dispatched an Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel to assist and provide fuel to the Sri Lankan multiday fishing vessels driven away to the seas off Indonesia by the effect of inclement weather caused by the Amphan cyclone formed in the seas around the Bay of Bengal, during past days.
The decision to send a Navy ship to assist about 30 fishing boats with about 180 fishermen onboard has been taken on the advice of the President.
It has been reported that about 30 fishing boats following the directions given by the radio communication have sailed towards Indonesia and avoided the cyclonic storm brewing in the Bay of Bengal.
The fishing vessels were staying near Indonesia’s Exclusive economic zone, about 200 nautical miles off the Indonesian coast and since the weather turned favorable, they have set sail yesterday to return to Sri Lanka coast.
Sri Lanka Navy dispatched its Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel SLNS Samudura for providing necessary assistance to these stranded fishermen, today.
It is reported that about 180 fishermen from Galle and Hambanthota districts are on board and they are sailing safely.
Several vessels carrying fuel have already been dispatched from Kudawella harbor to supply additional fuel for the boats if needed.
The Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources states that if the sea conditions improve, all the vessels can safely return within a few days.