Emigrants saved from sinking ship
[TamilNet, Friday, 20 November 1998, 19:58 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Coastal Guard rescued sixty Sinhala and Tamil youths, attempting to illegally enter Australia, from a sinking ship off the western coast of Negombo yesterday, November 18, said police sources in Colombo.
The rescue operation was launched after the SOS sent by the ship sailing some 250 nautical miles from the western coast of Sri Lanka was detected by the coastal guard, the sources said.
The youths have told the police that they sailed in small boats from Negombo and that they had paid large sums of money to an 'agent' who had arranged the trip to Australia.
The Sri Lankan Police are searching for the 'agent' who is alleged to have organised the illegal transport to Australia.