Colombo, Feb 19 (NIA) – Atleast 10 bodies were recovered after a boat carrying 20 passengers capsized in the seas off Kalutara, in the island’s south on Sunday morning, the navy said.
The boat had taken off from the shores of Beruwala and had capsized one and a half nautical miles away from shore.
Navy Spokesperson Lieutenant Commander Chaminda Walakuluge said the navy had deployed 6 naval boats and divers and a rescue operation was presently underway to find the remaining passengers.
Walakuluge said civil people in the area were also assisting in the rescue efforts.
The navy said the boat had been overloaded with passengers and had not followed the safety regulations. “When people travel in boats for leisure purposes, the navy and the coastguard have to be informed. The boats which capsized had not followed any safety regulations as the bodies recovered did not have life jackets. We advise people not to travel in boats without informing the naval officers in the area,” Walakuluge said.
The spokesperson further added that the boat which had capsized was a fishing trawler which had been used for leisure purposes and despite the trawler capsizing around 11.30 am local time, the fishing folk in the area had informed the navy and coast guard only when efforts became futile.
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