Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) has permitted the owner of the 'MT New Diamond to tow the vessel away from the Sri Lankan waters on condition that the ship owner pays the relevant compensation, Navy Spokesman Captain Indika De Silva said.
“The process to tow the vessel has commenced and it will take at least two months for the vessel to reach a harbour,” Captain Indika told Daily Mirror.
“The company has sent a passage planning with regard to moving the vessel to a safer location. Accordingly, the MRCC has endorsed it subjected to payment of compensation and cost incurred by the Government agencies,” he added.
He underlined that it was risky to further retain the vessel as the North-east monsoon was expected to take hold in coming weeks. "The vessel is currently at a dangerous zone," he added.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the New Diamond will head to Khorfakkan in the United Arab Emirates and its cargo will be transferred in the UAE to another ship and sent to client Indian Oil Corp’s Paradip refinery.
However, Captain Indika said they had not been yet informed of the destination of the vessel but said the vessel would head to southward. (Sheain Fernandopulle)