By Easwaran Rutnam
X-Press Feeders, operators of the container ship ‘X-Press Pearl’, through the vessel owner’s P&I insurers, have made an initial payment of US$3.6 million to the Sri Lankan government to help compensate those affected by the consequences of the fire and sinking of the vessel.
Sri Lanka had sought an initial payment of Rs. 700 million to cover the cost of compensation for fishermen affected by the fire.
X-Press Feeders said that discussions are ongoing on the payment of further claims and all legitimate claims will be considered.
“We continue to contribute to the cleanup and pollution mitigation efforts, having flown in additional oil spill response assets on a chartered flight from Malaysia in response to a request from the UN-EU team in Colombo,” X-Press Feeders said.
The shipping company also said that at the wreck site, caretaker salvors remain on a 24-hour watch to deal with any debris and report any form of a spill with drones deployed daily to help with the monitoring activities.
Representatives Oil Spill Response continue to monitor updates from the scene and are ready to respond immediately, if required.
“Our seafarers remain housed at a hotel in Colombo, awaiting permission to travel back to their anxious families and loved ones. Having endured the trauma and stress of the fire on board and an evacuation that caused injuries to their ranks, they have now been in lockdown for over six weeks. We are working closely with the Sri Lankan authorities through our local lawyers with regard to the crew’s repatriation as soon as possible,” the ship owners said. (Courtesy Daily Mirror)