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Payagala tragedy


2017-02-21

2017-02-21
Families of Payagala victims to be compensated

The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the provisions of 100,000 rupees to the next of kin of the victims of the Payagala boat capsize on Sunday(19th). The Cabinet also approved a 20,000 rupee compensation fee for those who sustained injuries in the boat capsize.

Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa speaking in Parliament this afternoon(21) said circulars in this regard have not been issued, adding he tabled a Cabinet paper before the Ministers today in order to obtain approval for compensation.

The Minister said the compensation fees will be handed over tomorrow. Another individual who was hospitalized after sustaining critical injuries passed away this morning bringing the death toll to 12 with 32 injured.

Police said it has received information regarding 4 persons who are still missing. Search operations have been launched to find the missing persons.

The number of passengers on board is still unclear but unofficial reports suggest around 40 persons were onboard. The boat was carrying a group of pilgrims engaged in a religious practice when it capsized around 9.30am on Sunday.


2017-02-21
Death toll rises to 12

Another individual who was hospitalized after sustaining critical injuries due to the boat capsize off the Payagala coast, has passed away. Accordingly, the total death toll has risen to 12.

Police said it has received information regarding 4 missing individuals following the incident thus far. Search operations have been launched to find the missing persons.

The Kaluthara District Disaster Management Center said the boat which capsized on Sunday was recovered and brought to the Beruwala harbour last evening. The number of passengers on board is still unclear but unofficial reports suggest around 40 persons were onboard.

The boat was carrying a group of pilgrims engaged in a religious practice when it capsized around 9.30am on Sunday.


2017-02-20
New directives for passenger transport boats

Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera has ordered to cancel licences of boats which transport passengers without following proper guidelines issued by the Ministry. Issuing a statement, the Fisheries Ministry said it was revealed that the boat which capsized last morning in Katukurunda was in no way suitable for passenger transportation.

The statement said the boat was primarily meant to be used for deep sea fishing and could only carry 5 people. However, investigations conducted by the Fisheries Ministry revealed that there were over 30 individuals on board at the time of the incident.

Following a discussion held in this regard, Minster Mahinda Amaraweera ordered that all individuals transported via boat must wear protective gear. Accordingly, the Ministry stated transporting individuals via fishing boats has been banned, while strict measures will be taken against any individual found violating the order.

Meanwhile, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has ordered a report to be submitted pertaining to the capsizing that occurred last morning.


2017-02-20
Adhere to safety regulations – Amaraweera

Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera says strict action will be taken against those who violate rules in place pertaining to passenger transport by sea. The Minister in a statement said there are a number of areas to look into pertaining to passenger transport.

The Minister issued the statement this morning(20) over the boat capsize reported in Payagala yesterday that led to the demise of 11 persons. Minister Amaraweera said maximum capacity on board a vessel, sea conditions and safety equipment all contribute to maintaining the steadiness of a vessel.

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera added the failure to maintain basic requirements on board the vessel led to the boat capsizing yesterday. The Minister of Fisheries also said attention has been directed towards introducing a special programme to update regulations for passenger transport by boat services together with the Navy, the Department of Coast Guards and other parties.

The Minister also requested the public to refrain from being on board a vessel without safety jackets.


2017-02-20
Payagala boat capsize victims identified

The bodies of seven persons who drowned last morning when a boat capsized in Payagala have been identified by relatives. NewsRadio correspondent said the relatives have requested for the remains to be handed over.

However, the Beruwala Police said the bodies cannot be released without the completion of the post- mortem examination. Police said the bodies will be handed over to relatives following the post-mortem examination and with the consent of the Judicial Medical Officer.

Meanwhile, the Beruwela Police has received a complaint regarding the disappearance of two children who are said to have been on board at the time. The complaint was lodged by a group of residents in Kalutara.

The death toll as of last night stood at 11, with 5 males and 6 females succumbing in the incident that was reported last morning. The Police Media Unit said an 8 year old child was among the victims.


2017-02-20
Navy continues search to find missing from Payagala capsize

The Navy has commenced a series of search operations to find those missing following the boat capsize off the coast of Payagala yesterday. When inquired by NewsRadio, Navy Media Spokesperson Commander Chaminda Walakuluge said 20 trained lifeguard officers have been deployed for the search operations.

In addition, 15 divers of the Navy are also part of the team. The Navy Media Spokesperson added, 2 high speed crafts and 6 dinghies have been dispatched to assist in the search.

Investigations have commenced to determine the cause for the boat carrying pilgrims to capsize off the coast of Payagala yesterday.


2017-02-20
Investigations into boat capsize in Payagala begin

Investigations have commenced to determine the cause for the boat carrying pilgrims to capsize off the coast of Payagala yesterday. The Kalutara Disaster Management Centre said search operations are continuing for other missing individuals with the assistance of the Air Force and the Navy.

The death toll as of last night stood at 11, with 5 males and 6 females succumbing in the incident that was reported last morning. The Police Media Unit said an 8 year old child was among the victims. Police said 31 individuals who were rescued are currently receiving treatment at the Nagoda and Beruwela hospitals.


2017-02-19
Payagala Boat Capsize: Rescue operation ongoing

The Kalutara District Disaster Management Centre says a search operation is still underway to rescue possible victims of the Payagala boat accident that occurred this morning. The death toll of the Payagala capsize has risen to 11 as of this evening.

The Police Media Unit said an 8 year old child was also among those succumbed. Speaking to NewsRadio the Director of the Disaster Management Center Prasad Jayasinghe said the DMC along with the Air Force and Navy are conducting a search and rescue operations at present.

The Director said said this incident occurred between 9:30 and 10 am this morning adding the individuals left from the Beruwela Fishing Docks for an annual pilgrimage to the Holy Cross church in Kalutara. The Director said only 10 or 15 travel in these boats adding that these individuals came in a trawler boat.

The Director said one boat capsized proximally 3km off the Kalutara coast line adding that it has not yet been determined how many individuals were on that boat, but a total of 11 people have died, and there are 32 people injured. He added of the 11 dead individuals 8 bodies are placed at the Nagoda Hospital while 4 of the injured have been admitted there.

The Director said 3 bodies and 27 injured individuals are at the Beruwela hospital adding that 7 were females and 3 males and an 8 year old boy died in the incident. The Director said the Disaster Management centre of Kalutara, the Air force and the navy have all engaged in search and rescue operations adding that the operation is ongoing.


2017-02-19
At least 10 drown after boat capsizes off Payagala

At least 10 persons have died after a boat carrying a group of pilgrims capsized off the coast of Payagala today. The Kalutara District Disaster Management Unit said bodies have been brought to the Nagoda and Beruwala Hospitals. 19 others who were rescued have been hospitalised.

The total number of passengers on board is still unclear but unofficial reports suggest the number was around 40. The boat was carrying a group of pilgrims to a religious ritual when it capsized this morning. The Navy and the police are in search of those who are still missing.