Sri Lankan ships and Indian Coast Guard ships successfully towed the MT New Diamond more than 40 Nautical Miles away from Sri Lanka coast to safe waters, officials said.
The fire onboard oil tanker has been successfully contained into a greater extent. As a result of the combined operation the ill-fated oil tanker has been secured from all sides, Sri Lanka Navy said.
Although the ship had reached a distance of about 20 nautical miles by 6 pm yesterday (4), the ALP Winger, a tug, began taking the ship to the deep sea as fire was contained.
Further, the Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard are working together in this coordinated disaster mitigation operation. The disaster relief operation was joined by Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Sarang, ICGS Sujay, TTT One - a tug equipped with firefighting equipment and professional firefighters, and 02 Dornier aircraft of Indian Coast Guard since previous night. The fire has been contained by now and the Dornier aircraft are currently at the Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport.
Apart from that, SLNS Samudura, P4442 Fast Attack Craft and SLCG Samudraraksha and Samaraksha of Sri Lanka Coast Guard carrying the fire extinguishing chemicals provided by the government and private institutions in the event of this disaster, are also augmenting the disaster relief operation and providing necessary support.
As of now, 04 capital ships and 03 Fast Attack Craft of Sri Lanka Navy, 02 ships belonging to the Sri Lanka Coast Guard, 03 ships of Indian Coast Guard, 01 ship belonging to the Indian Navy, 02 tugs of Hambanthota International Port Group - Wasaba and Rawana, the ALP Winger tug, the TTT One tug with firefighting equipment and professionals have been engaged in the firefighting efforts. Meanwhile the MI 17 helicopter and the Beach Craft of the Sri Lanka Air Force will also resume their aerial operations to assist this combined effort.
The continuous cooling effect during the disaster relief operation has controlled the fire-spread and approaching of the flames to the crude oil store of MT New Diamond. As a result, there is no risk of an oil spill so far, it added.