Despite the fire onboard the crude oil tanker MT New Diamond brought under control, the Sri Lanka Navy and other stakeholders continue disaster management operations until the risk of the ship catching fire again was completely eliminated, the Navy said today.
SLN Spokesman Captain Indika de Silva said that in addition to the team of 10 British and the Netherlands experts, the commercial and technical operator of the distressed vessel also sent another team of 11 disaster management experts from the Netherlands, Britain and Belgium this morning.
“They will be taken to the location of the vessel for inspection by the Navy today,” he said.
The team of 10 British and Netherlands experts, including salvage operation experts, assessors and a legal adviser arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday.
The Navy said that six salvage operation experts of the team had been transferred by Sri Lanka Navy craft to the location of the ill-fated oil tanker and they were still studying the situation.
Sri Lanka Navy and other disaster management teams were able to bring the fire onboard the crude oil tanker under control yesterday evening.
“However, due to the high temperature inside the ship and environmental factors there is a possibility the ship catching fire again. Therefore, the vessels and craft dispatched for disaster management efforts continue to engage in boundary cooling on the fire engulfed oil tanker,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ship is now 30 nautical miles (56 km) off Sangamankanda Point and salvage operations are currently underway.
Accordingly, nine ships including Indian and Sri Lankan ships, five tugs, aircraft of Sri Lanka Air Force and an aircraft belonging to the Indian Coast Guard are assisting in the operations on the MT New Diamond.