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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 January 2005, 10:18 GMT
'The fishing boats are coming back'
HMS Chatham arrived in Sri Lanka on Monday to help move displaced people, deliver medical supplies and monitor the scale of devastation.

The frigate's commanding officer, Steve Chick, saw the first signs of a long process of regeneration on the island.

This morning we landed a group of people into a small fishing community called Galle down in the south of the island.

A boy picks through the wreckage in Galle, Sri Lanka
The tsunami badly damaged Galle

The scale of the destruction, displaced families and other difficulties they are struggling with at the minute [is quite clear].

In fact, the scale of this operation is the surprise.

We are currently about half a mile off the coast and if you look along the coastline the most marked thing is all the fishing vessels - which is the key economy here - are all several hundred yards up the beach.

In one village, where we have people ashore at the minute, there is a fishing vessel firmly lodged in the first floor of a hotel.

But what is encouraging is the regeneration process is starting.

We've seen here in Galle fishing vessels starting to come on out.

They are starting to repair and get the infrastructure back together.

We've been able to provide some medical supplies in Galle, just to enable the hospital to continue some of its basic aid.

But some of it is far beyond us - there is serious building and construction work that needs to be done.


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