Navy brings shore Sri Lankan crew member on cruise ship | Daily News

Navy brings shore Sri Lankan crew member on cruise ship

Acting on a directive of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Navy yesterday met the cruise ship MSC ‘Magnifica’ off the Port of Colombo and brought ashore the only Sri Lankan on board, Anura Bandara Herath, who was a crew member.

Herath recently made a request over social media to get him back to Sri Lanka. This came to the President’s attention and he directed Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva to make arrangements to bring him back ashore as his ship would be in Sri Lankan waters while on its way to Italy. The ship, which was on a world tour, had to abandon the tour and head back to Italy from Australia as no port was willing to let it dock.

A team of Navy's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRNE) Unit was dispatched to the passenger ship which was about 4.4 nautical miles (9 km) off the port of Colombo and the Sri Lankan was safely retrieved and transferred ashore. A 75 year old German female passenger suffering from a heart ailment on board the MSC ‘Magnifica’ was also safely brought ashore by the Navy.

The Sri Lankan and the ill German passenger were disinfected on the harbour premises in accordance with proper sterilization procedures. Subsequently, the Sri Lankan was directed to the Boossa Naval Quarantine Centre for 21 days of quarantine following all safety guidelines. The German woman was rushed to the National Hospital Colombo for treatment. The Navy Commander said that as Sri Lankans, all should be happy that the one and only Sri Lankan national aboard has been safely brought shore, in circumstances where the ship not been accepted by any port in the world.

Upon disembarkation, Anura Bandara Herath expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the President, Government and the Navy for taking prompt action to get him back. Speaking on national television, his mother also thanked the President and the Navy for this gesture. 


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