Oil tanker towed more than 40 NM away from Sri Lanka

The oil tanker which caught fire near Sri Lanka, has been towed 40 nautical miles (NM) away from Sri Lankan shores.

The Navy said MT New Diamond was about 20 nautical miles from the shore yesterday (Friday). However, with the efforts of the Sri Lanka Navy and other stakeholders, the fire was contained on the ship and the ALP Winger tug was able to take the distressed oil tanker 40 nautical miles (about 74 km) away from the shore.

The Navy said the fire was under control and efforts to extinguish it were ongoing.

There is a risk of occasional fires due to deep sea winds and such unexpected fires are being controlled by tugs and Indian Coast Guard ships deployed on the location. Helicopters are also being used in the firefighting efforts.

As of today, three capital ships and three Fast Attack Craft of the Sri Lanka Navy, two ships belonging to the Sri Lanka Coast Guard, three ships of the Indian Coast Guard, one ship belonging to the Indian Navy, two tugs of the Hambanthota International Port Group – Wasaba and Rawana, the ALP Winger tug, the TTT One tug with firefighting equipment and professionals have been engaged in the firefighting efforts.

Meanwhile the MI 17 helicopter and the Beach Craft of the Sri Lanka Air Force are continuing their aerial operations to assist in the combined disaster relief efforts.

In addition, two Dornier aircraft belonging to the Indian Coast Guard have been stationed at the Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport for emergency use. (Colombo Gazette)

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