Distressed oil tanker towed further away from Sri Lanka

The distressed crude oil tanker MT New Diamond has been moved 37 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point despite rough seas.

The Sri Lanka Navy said the ship was moved despite heavy winds experienced during the operation.

The Navy said the reignited fire aboard the oil tanker, MT New Diamond, was successfully contained by disaster management teams early this morning (09).

No flames or smoke have been reported from the ship, while a tug was towing the oil tanker to deep seas outside of Sri Lankan waters, the Navy added.

The oil tanker fell in distress after catching fire on Wednesday (07) and the Navy completely doused the fire on Sunday (06), but the fire reignited on Monday (07) due to adverse weather conditions.

Meanwhile, a diesel patch observed in the area about a kilometer away from the ship was inspected yesterday (08).

A Dornier aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard stationed was flown to the area where the diesel fuel patch was observed and a diesel dispersant was airdropped to the sea area to minimize its impact on the ocean.

A ship of the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency has been dispatched to further inspect the diesel patch.

An expert team of the Disaster Management Unit of the SL Navy that was dispatched today has enter the distressed oil tanker to inspect the current situation and to ascertain further necessary measures to be taken in this regard.

A three- member team of the International Salvage Company too boarded the oil tanker today.

The Sri Lanka Navy said the operation is being conducted jointly by the SLN, international vessels, tugs, aircrafts and special team of foreign experts who recently arrived in Sri Lanka to provide assistance with regard to the distressed oil tanker.

The SLN added that attention will be focused on the MT New Diamond oil tanker until the prevalent disaster situation is completely mitigated. (Colombo Gazette)