February 19th, 2013 09:39 AM
In this handout photograph taken by the Sri Lankan Navy on February 17, 2013, Sri Lankan sailors assist Myanmar nationals off a navy ship at the southern port of Galle, following their rescue at sea a day earlier. A boatload of Myanmar nationals rescued from a sinking wooden craft off Sri Lanka’s east coast after two months at sea had been trying to reach Australia, local police said February 17. The boatpeople, plucked to safety by Sri Lanka’s navy on Saturday, were taken Sunday to the southern port of Galle where they were rushed to hospital to be treated for dehydration and starvation, police said in a statement. AFP PHOTO/SRI LANKAN NAVY
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka—ri Lanka’s navy says it has rescued 32 Myanmar nationals whose wooden vessel began sinking while making a perilous journey to Australia.
A navy statement says the rescue was made about 250 nautical miles off the island’s eastern coast on Saturday. Those rescued are being treated for acute dehydration.
The group comprising 31 adult males and a boy had been at sea without food for 21 days when the navy rescued them after being informed by a local fishing boat.
Survivors have told local newspapers that there were 130 passengers at the beginning of the journey and 98 died on the way and their bodies were dumped to sea.
They said they were planning to go to Australia after their attempt to enter Malaysia failed.
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