Panadura ship sinks

A foreign ship anchored off Panadura for the past three years, had sunk by this morning.

The Marine Environment Protection Authority said that officials were now sent to the area to asses the possible environment impact from the sinking of the ship.

Jagath Gunasekera, Assistant Manager operations at the Marine Environment Protection Authority told the Colombo Gazette that most of the oil in the ship had been removed so they don’t expect a major environmental impact.

The 155 meter long and 127 meter wide ship was manufactured in 1985 was detained in Sri Lanka on a court order after a dispute arose involving the cargo and its crew

Earlier this week the Second Engineer of the ship M. Muheen said that a nearby navy camp had informed the engineers to take urgent measures to prevent the ship from sinking as that could result in an oil leak.

However the engineers have refused to address the issue as they have not been paid their dues by the owning company of the vessel.

The vessel was found drifting off the coast of Panadura three years ago and had been anchored there since, pending the outcome of a Court case.

MV Thermopylae Sierra was detained over a dispute on its cargo and with the court case dragging the condition of the ship had been deteriorating.
Engineers were kept on board the vessel but they withdrew saying they had not been given food or other facilities.

There were concerns earlier that if the ship sinks the oil in the ship could harm a vast area of marine life and also get washed ashore in Panadura and adjoining areas and pose a threat to other forms of life as well.

(Story and pics by Indika Sri Aravinda)