The Sri Lankan navy rescued two young elephants from drowning on Sunday (23 July) after the animals were discovered by the navy personnel, who saw them barely keeping their trunks above water in the deep seas, about half a mile off the coast of Sri Lanka.

The duo was saved after a huge effort involving navy divers, ropes and a flotilla of boats to tow them back to shallow waters, the Guardian reported. "Having safely guided the two elephants to the shore, they were subsequently released to the Foul Point jungle [in Trincomalee district]," the navy said in a statement.

"They were extremely lucky to have been spotted by a patrol craft, which called in several other boats to help with the rescue," it added.

The latest comes just two weeks after another elephant was saved by the navy. The elephant was rescued about eight nautical miles off the shore of Kokilai, a town on the north-eastern coast of the island nation.

The navy said that the giant animal was washed out to sea by the current and was spotted by a patrol boat. Navy divers and officials from the department of wildlife were sent to the area to rescue the animal.

Using ropes, the rescuers were able to direct the elephant towards the coast and to safety.

In May, naval personnel and local residents also saved a shell of 20 pilot whales that were trapped in Trincomalee, a natural harbour that is popular for whale-watching.

Pilanesberg National Park
The pair of wild elephants was brought ashore on Sunday using navy divers and ropes - Representational image Gianluigi GuerciaI/ AFP

The waters around Trincomalee have a large number of blue and sperm whales, while the surrounding jungles have flocks of wild elephants.