Coast Guard saves nine: Highest ever in single day

Coast Guard lifesavers last Sunday (18) saved a record nine persons from drowning in the seas at Polhena, Gopalapuram, Mt. Lavinia, Kirinda and Galle Face.

The first rescue of the day was reported from Polhena beach around 1.45 p.m. Duty lifeguards M. M. A. S. Indika, M. K. E. Pathmakumara responded swiftly and rescued Mrs. W. A. Jeewani (39) from drowning. The second was reported from the Gopalapuram beach around 2.30 p.m. Duty lifeguards O. W. S. Priyantha, K. K. D. Suranga and M. B. Madushanka rushed to the scene and rescued S. J. M. L. Gunasekera (33) from drowning.

S. N. A. M. Tharanga (28) and J. K. Herath (39) were rescued by the duty lifeguards E. M. N. K. Wijesundara, K. S. P. Kumara, R. M. N. K. Rathnayake stationed at the Mt. Lavinia Coast Guard lifesaving post in two different incidents around 3.15 pm and 4.00 p.m. respectively.

Lifeguards at the Kirinda beach reported the fifth incident around 5.00 p.m. with the rescue of three (03) local tourists. K. M. Sumanasiri (27), S. Bandara (29) and W. S. M. Manjula (34) were simultaneously rescued by duty lifeguards B. J. A. Wasantha, W. R. Pathmathilake, I. G. D. P. Kumara and K. H. Chaminda.

Galle Face duty lifeguards R. M. P. P. Rathnayake and J. J. Hettiarachchi were involved in the eighth rescue, that of A. Fernando (17) around 5.25 p.m. and Gopalapuram lifesavers were involved in the ninth rescue for the day when they saved M. N. M. Umesh (14) around 5.40 p.m.

They all later thanked the lifeguards for saving their lives and praised the professional work and dedication of the lifesavers of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard.

A large number of local as well as foreign tourists visit the beautiful beaches especially during weekends. Coast Guard lifeguards deployed at vital beach areas at present make tourists aware of the presence of lifesavers and continue to educate the public to swim between the "red and yellow flags" as this will help the lifeguards to react swiftly and save lives.

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