By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya
The MV X-Press Pearl which caught fire in Sri Lankan waters has started to sink since last morning and the towing of the vessel into the deep sea was halted due to the bottom of the ship hitting the seabed, the navy said.
The towing of the ship out to sea began last morning and a special naval team also entered the ship to facilitate the salvor teams to tow it.
Navy Spokesman Captain Indika De Silva said a private salvage team had started to tow the ship out to deep sea as instructed by the President.
On May 20, 2021, the Singapore-flagged Containership, ‘X-Press Pearl’ reported smoke from the cargo hold while at anchorage in the seas off Colombo port. The vessel reported fire on deck later.
The fire aboard the cargo ship off Sri Lanka was finally extinguished on Tuesday after a 13-day international operation.
Meanwhile, the X-Press Feeders, operators of the container ship ‘X-Press Pearl’ confirmed on Tuesday that salvors reported no visible flames aboard the vessel, though smoke was emitting intermittently from cargo holds 1,2 and 3.
An inspection team were able to board the vessel on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 1, and reported the engine room flooded.
Also, the operators of the container ship reported yesterday that despite salvors successfully boarding the vessel and attaching a tow cable, efforts to move the ship to deeper waters have failed, and the ships aft portion was touching bottom at a depth of 21 metres.
As of yesterday afternoon, the fore area of the vessel remained afloat with smoke coming out of several cargo holds.
- As of yesterday afternoon, the fore area of the vessel remained afloat with smoke coming out of several cargo holds