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Sri Lanka rescues 138 stranded on sinking boat: Navy

Published on Feb 3, 2013 2:12 PM
 
Sri Lankan sailors help a rescued boy to disembark from a Sri Lanka Navy vessel at Oluvil fisheries harbour in eastern Sri Lanka, on Feb 3, 2013. Sri Lanka's navy on Sunday rescued more than 100 Bangladeshi and Myanmar nationals from a sinking fishing vessel off the island's eastern coast, a spokesman said. -- PHOTO: AFP

COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's navy on Sunday rescued more than 100 Bangladeshi and Myanmar nationals from a sinking fishing vessel off the island's eastern coast, a spokesman said.

One passenger was found dead while many of the 138 plucked from the boat were dehydrated, he added, but it was not immediately clear where the vessel was headed or whether they were asylum seekers.

"We sent three ships for the rescue at a location 80 kilometres off the eastern coast of Akkaraipattu," navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya told AFP. "Some have been admitted to a local hospital. Others are being taken to Colombo."

The early-morning rescue came amid stepped up naval patrols to check Sri Lankan fishing boats taking would-be illegal immigrants to Australia.

 
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