By Indika Sri Aravinda
Sri Lanka may need to go to an international court to seek compensation from the MT New Diamond, the oil tanker which caught fire near Sri Lankan waters.
The Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard had been working together to control the fire that erupted after an explosion of a boiler in the main engine room of MT New Diamond, an oil tanker sailing 38 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point east of Sri Lankan seas on 3rd September.
The ship has now been moved much further away from Sri Lanka, as a result of which Sri Lankan authorities may not be able to recover the cost incurred in the operation to extinguish the fire and rescue the crew.
Dr Turney Pradeep Kumara, the General Manager of the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) told the Colombo Gazette that if the owners of the ship do not pay Sri Lanka the cost incurred in the operation, Sri Lanka may need to turn to an international court.
The Sri Lanka Navy and Air Force used chemical powder and various substances to the value of approximately Rs. 1.8 million to extinguish the fire on the ship.
Over the weekend Navy divers had been deployed to block oil from leaking from the MT New Diamond ship.
The Sri Lanka Navy said that Navy divers were deployed to block a sea water inlet of the ship after it was found that oil was getting mixed with sea water and coming out from the ship.
The MT New Diamond was 45 nautical miles off Batticaloa as of Saturday. (Colombo Gazette)