Images via Sri Lanka Navy
While enroute to Zhangjiagang, China, the chemical tanker Fairchem Sabre responded to a distress call from an overcrowded trawler which was packed full of 73 Sri Lankans attempting to make their way to Australia. The vessel had encountered engine problems approximately 290 nautical miles southeast of Galle, a port on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka.
The Fairchem Sabre, under the command of Captain Dewaki Nandan Edupuganti transferred the Sri Lankans from their disabled vessel to his vessel and awaited the arrival of Sri Lanka Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel Samudura.
On 26 July, the Samudura arrived back in Galle with the rescued persons including 46 men, 10 women and 17 children. According to a statement by the Sri Lankan Navy, the rescued persons were residents of the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
The distance from Sri Lanka to the west coast of Australia is roughly 3,000 miles.