SL Navy refloats World War II British Ship

31 March 2018 09:32 pm - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The wreck of one of the famous ships of Her Majesty’s Naval Service - SS Sagaing which sank at the Trincomalee harbour during the World War II, is refloated after 75 years stay underwater by a team of divers of Sri Lanka Navy making a landmark turning point in the field of Diving and Salvage, the Navy said.

This 138 m long Passenger cum Cargo Ship launched in 24thDecember 1924 was hit by Japanese carrier air craft bomber attacks whilst at anchorage in Trincomalee harbour on  09th April 1942 and subsequently abandoned due to escalating fire onboard. On 24thAugust 1943, the damaged ship had been sunken to be used as a pier for Naval Ships.

Sri Lanka Navy resorted to refloat the wreck which was fully submerged 35 feet under the sea in order to make sea room for expanding berthing facilities in the harbour. The task of salvaging and removing the ship wreck was assigned to Eastern Naval Command and it was undertaken by the Eastern Command Diving Unit headed by the Command Diving Officer (E), Captain (CDO) Krishantha Athukorala on 11th September 2017.

Then a comprehensive salvage plan made by CDO (E) was launched by a team of divers supervised by CPO (DIV) ALNSS Liyanage through patching up all damages and strengthening up deteriorated ship’s structural parts by erecting an artificial ship side in to the sunken wreck for dewatering ship’s internal volume to recover lost buoyancy. After a series of dedicated endeavour made along a period of five months, on 22nd March the wreck started to ascent to the surface proving the professionalism and instinct of SLN Divers.

The operation was assisted by LCdr Sathishka Pathirana and LCdr Shiran Buddhika along with 98 diving sailors permanently deployed to the project. Timely support, by the Operations, Logistics, Engineering, Electrical, Shipwright and Medical Departments and the continuous advices received from Director General Operations were highly affected in this successful endeavour. The entire proceedings of the wreck refloating effort were orchestrated under the able guidance of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe.

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  Comments - 13

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  • ANTON Sunday, 01 April 2018 07:39 AM

    .....BUT SUNKEN PREMIERSHIP CAN'T BE RE FLOATED ONCE AGAIN. ..... NOW IT IS A COMPLETE WRECK.

    Eggy Sunday, 01 April 2018 09:19 AM

    Congratulations on a valiant effort. Sri Lanka has the knowledge based personnel and expertise to accomplish such a task. Great work.

    Krishantha Athukorala Wednesday, 18 April 2018 01:33 PM

    Thanks for your comment..

    Jaliya Sunday, 01 April 2018 12:45 PM

    Last week navy plunged one under water with expectation of coral growth, this week they re-floated another that was under water for over 75 years. Did we find any evidence of heavy corals in here ?

    Thiru Sunday, 01 April 2018 02:58 PM

    Last week it was done in the ocean by Sri Lankan Navy that would lead to definite coral growth but this time re-floating from yards of the shores as the British Navy foolishly thought corals would grow on sinking damaged ship in shallow waters.

    Andy Sunday, 01 April 2018 07:20 PM

    If this was in Singapore , this would have been a tourist attraction . Would have been milking money.

    Keerthi Thursday, 05 April 2018 03:09 PM

    Idea here is the same. To make it an attraction for divers.

    Luxter Sunday, 01 April 2018 10:12 PM

    Copy their technology and structure of the ship and try to make blue prints of it and build ships for different navies of the world. JOBS!!! JOBS!! JOBS!!

    Ben Sunday, 01 April 2018 11:41 PM

    There is nothing to boast about this job. Thanks to all the dedicated supporting sailors.Now drag it out to the sea and dump again, Why not recover the tax payers money that paid all the salaries be recovered by selling it off as scrap..I think in all these navel bases there must be enough scrap to build another Victoria Resovoier

    Ajith Monday, 02 April 2018 08:38 AM

    Why not sell this to UK they can have their shipwreck..

    Kerching Monday, 02 April 2018 10:31 AM

    I think you,LL find the Japanese sank this ship rather than the British choosing to sink it ...get that chip off your shoulder

    irobot Monday, 02 April 2018 11:10 AM

    great job, shows our navy has great abilities. So 98 sailors worked on this for over 6 months, what are we going to do with this wreckage next.

    Keerthi Tuesday, 03 April 2018 04:11 PM

    When I saw this ship few years ago, I was wondering why it was left in that spot. It was blocking the Naval yard. Congratulations to the Navy and the Diving Unit for a great job.


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