Colombo, Sri Lanka — The Sri Lankan navy said on Monday that about 300 suspected migrants have been rescued by Singapore authorities after their boat began to sink.
Navy spokesman Indika de Silva said a Sri Lankan citizen on the boat contacted the navy on Monday and said they were in distress, and the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Colombo sought help from Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Singapore authorities later informed Sri Lanka that the people on board the boat had been rescued and were on their way to Vietnam.
De Silva said the navy is only officially aware of the presence of one Sri Lankan on board the ship, and the identities of the others will be established after they land in Vietnam.
In the past, Sri Lankans sometimes made dangerous and illegal boat trips to escape a long civil war. Some Sri Lankans are now trying to escape an economic crisis by illegally migrating to other countries.