Fishing trawler wrecked off Dikwella
'Sejan 4' the first 45 foot multi day fishing vessel built under the
IFAD project destroyed when it drifted on to the outcrop of rocks
opposite the Dikwella village hotel around 8 pm on Wednesday. The fully
equipped vessel valued at Rs 20 million was owned by Jayantha
Lokugamhewa of Gandara.
The vessel was equiped with a brand new six cylinder engine, a four
cylinder generator, refrigeration unit, satellite navigator, echo
sounder, radio transmitters and receivers, electric winches.
The ill fated 'Sejan 4' was skippered by W G M Nuwan Pushpakumara had
gone to Kudawella to collect fish and had volunteered to tow a 35 foot
fishing vessel which was adrift at sea.
Both vessels belonged to Jayantha Lokugamhewa and Nuwan was well
known to him. The duo towed the 35 foot craft to the Gandara fisheries
harbour at around 6 pm and they were returning to Kudawella the home
port of 'Sejan 4'.
The engine of the vessel is said to have seized at around 7.30pm when
the craft was opposite Bathigama area and about a kilometer away from
the coast. All attempts to re-start the engines had failed . A radio
message was sent but there were no vessels in the proximity.
The strong winds and currents carried the craft to its doom within
half an hour according to Nuwan. The crew were thrown out of the boat
when it flung on to the outcrop of rocks. Nuwan mannaged to swim the 150
yards to shore but Iroshan was not so lucky. He was bruised and had many
sea urchin spines embedded all over his body.
He was unconscious and a guest of the Dikwella Village hotel carried
Iroshan to a threewheeler. Both were admitted to Bathigama hospital and
later transferred to Matara hospital. Iroshan was to undergo a surgery
to remove the sea urchin spines.