Marine News, August 1, 2013: The Sri Lankan Navy rescued 73 precious lives of people who were stranded on an overcrowded trawler due to engine failure. The Sri Lankan Navy sent a message for help to merchant vessel Fairchem Sabre, which was headed for Singapore. The persons rescued included 46 men, 10 women and 17 children, who were brought home to safety by the Sri Lanka’s offshore patrol vessel Samudra and Fairchem Sabre on July 26.

The joint rescue operation began after the Sri Lankan Navy sent distress messages to vessels in the vicinity. The Panama-flagged, chemical tanker Fairchem Sabre diverted its course under Captain Dewaki Nandan Edupuganti’s command. The crew managed to take all the passengers onboard the vessel and ensure their safety despite rough weather.

People smuggling racketeering, common in these regions despite government warnings, would have been fatal had it not been for the quick response of the Sri Lankan Navy and the merchant vessel. The rescue operation was carried out as per the guidelines set on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).