A severely injured fisherman on-board a Sri Lankan fishing vessel was rescued by the Indian Coast Guard from high seas, the maritime agency said in a statement here. The Coast Guard received a request from the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC), Colombo, to help the injured fisherman on-board the fishing vessel which was fishing at 100 nautical miles west of Suheli Par Island, a coral atoll in the Lakshadweep archipelago. The vessel had left the island nation on February 14 with five crew members. One of the crew members Malwatta Pathirannehalage Sunil Shantha, aged about 47 years, had suffered a deep cut injury on his neck, the statement said. MRCC Colombo had initially intimated that the patient was stable and the fishing boat was heading towards Colombo, and that the evacuation of the patient was being planned by Sri Lankan Naval ship on February 28, it said.
However, on March 1, the Director General Operations of Sri Lanka Navy stated that the condition of the injured fisherman was not stable and that the fishing boat was 98 nautical miles from Chenyakara light house near Lakshadweep. Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Samar’, which was on a separate operational mission in the Lakshadweep area, was pressed into action and diverted to reach the Sri Lankan fishing vessel at the earliest to render medical aid.
ICGS Samar located the Sri Lankan fishing vessel at 9 PM yesterday and the medical team administered necessary first aid to the injured fisherman. “There was a 8 cm long and 1.5 cm deep cut at the back of the head. Considering the critically of the injured fisherman, he was taken on-board ICGS Samar,” the statement said. The patient is stable and is under observation. He is being taken to Kochi for further treatment, it said. The ship is likely to reach Kochi by March 3, the statement added.