Five missing pilgrims rescued

14 December 2016 08:47 am - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Five pilgrims who went missing in the Nallathanni forest in the Sri Pada reserve on Monday were rescued by the Police Special Task Force (STF) today after they were located by the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) yesterday, Military Spokesman Brigadier Roshan Senavirathne said.

The police, Disaster Management Centre (DMC) and the military had launched search and rescue operations, when the five individuals, including two women, who entered the Sri Pada forest reserve through the upper division of the Laxapana Estate in Nallathanniya went missing.

Four of the pilgrims were identified as residents of Nugegoda and the other was identified to be a Laxapana Estate worker.

SLAF said the DMC had requested assistance to locate and rescue the missing persons. Therefore, a SLAF rescue team led by Squad Leader Uditha de Silva and six others including three rescuers were deployed in a Bell 412 helicopter from the Ratmalana Air base on Tuesday evening.

Squad Leader Silva said the forest cover and the conditions made it impossible for the helicopter to deploy its rescue team after the group was located.  With the light and conditions deteriorating, the helicopter proceeded to land at a nearby safe location and transmitted the GPS coordinates to the ground rescue personnel.

The Bell 412 was on standby yesterday morning to be deployed to the site once more to heli-drop food and supplies until the ground rescue team could reach the victims.  (Darshana Sanjeewa)

Pics and Video by SLAF Media

  Comments - 9

  • Perumal Thursday, 15 December 2016 09:08 AM

    Penalty? Rs.25000/-?

    Dhanu Wednesday, 14 December 2016 01:57 PM

    දැන ගියොත් සිරිපාදේ නොදැන ගියොත් නල්ලතන්නි කැලේ !

    eshan Thursday, 15 December 2016 12:33 PM

    Is it the most punishable crime that has happened in the entire country? If and only if you'll voiced your concern about the corruption and all malpractices that are taking place, this country would have been a paradise by now. shanthapriya

    Nuwan Wednesday, 14 December 2016 02:27 PM

    "Wimal W" is surely one.

    ANTON Wednesday, 14 December 2016 03:02 PM


    aravinda Wednesday, 14 December 2016 03:38 PM

    These individuals are not pilgrims. They have gone in to the frost on a hike of their own. SLAF should recover the cost of rescue operation from them.

    Top Cat Wednesday, 14 December 2016 09:02 AM

    So, there are Sri Lankans who are not aware of the right path to Sri Pada?

    Kaboos Wednesday, 14 December 2016 09:12 AM

    some relief for the pilgrims but deterrent to others.

    shanthapriya Wednesday, 14 December 2016 11:13 AM

    ask them to pay the rescue operation cost and also impose a penalty for invading unauthorized forest area

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