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Captured by pirates in international waters:

Five fishermen return after 33 days ordeal in sea

The five Sri Lankan fishermen released by Somali sea pirates arrived at the Beruwala Fisheries harbour in their vessel Ocean 04 after a gruelling voyage lasting 33 days around 3.30 am yesterday.


The fishermen being welcomed by family members and villagers. Picture by Kalutara district roving cor

They fell into the clutches of the pirates after setting off on a fishing expedition from the Beruwala harbour on January 22.

The five fishermen who had a miraculous escape are Chandra Pushpakumara Ranaweera, 53, of Mullapitiya, K L D Samantha, 36, of Kalamulla, D Suhada Pushpakumara, 30, of Ethagama, Payagala, Lakshman Perera, 37, of Aluthwatta, Negombo and W Sarath Ranjith Perera, 40, of Pohoratota, Kochchikade.

A stream of relatives, friends and well-wishes visited the residence of the Vesselís skipper Chandra Pushpakumara Ranaweera at Mullapitiya from yesterday morning to greet the fishermen and listen to their month long ordeal.

Ranaweera said they were captured by the pirates in international waters. He said the pirates seized all goods in their possession except rice. After eating rice for a few days they had to survive mainly on fish they could catch. He said being a diabetic he took his need of drugs and insulin needed for their mission but all that too were forfeited by the pirates.

The most surprising thing is that these pirates are operating freely in international waters. Such incidents have driven fear into their minds about going out fishing again.

 

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