COLOMBO, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- At least 10 bodies were recovered after a boat carrying 20 passengers capsized in the seas off Kalutara in the island's south on Sunday, the navy said.
The boat, which had sailed from the shores of Beruwala, capsized one and a half nautical miles away from shore.
Navy spokesperson Lieutenant Commander Chaminda Walakuluge said the navy had deployed six naval boats and divers and a rescue operation was underway to find the remaining passengers.
Walakuluge said local people in the area were also assisting in the rescue efforts.
The navy said the boat had been overloaded with passengers and had not followed the safety regulations.
"When people travel in boats for leisure purposes, the navy and the coastguard have to be informed. The boats which capsized had not followed any safety regulations as the bodies recovered did not have life jackets," Walakuluge said.
The spokesperson added the ill-fated boat was a fishing trawler which had been used for leisure purposes.