Colombo, Feb 20 (NIA) – The Sri Lanka Navy, on Monday said it was continuing rescue operations to search for passengers who were still missing after a boat capsized in Sri Lanka’s southern seas on Sunday morning.
Navy Spokesperson, Lieutenant Commander Chaminda Walakuluge told NewsIn.Asia that several navy boats had been deployed in the search operations while 15 divers from the Sri Lanka Navy were also involved.
Walakuluge said salvage operations were also underway to recover the capsized boat.
“We feel there maybe some bodies in the capsized boat. Once we recover the boat, we will have more details,” he said.
Eleven bodies have been recovered so far while 32 passengers had been rescued.
Those rescued are presently receiving treatment in the Kalutara and Nagoda Hospitals, in the south.
Walakuluge said the survivors had been unable to give accurate figures on the number of passengers on board.
The boat which capsized on Sunday morning in the seas off Kalutara, had been transporting passengers to a wedding.
The navy said the boat had been a fishing trawler and had been overloaded with passengers and had not followed the safety regulations.
Walakuluge said the passengers had not had life jackets and the navy and coast guard had also not been informed.
“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 police have launched an investigation into the incident.