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Experts joined efforts to salvage burning tanker off Sri Lanka

7 September 2020 12:11 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


AG meets stakeholders to review situation   

Pics by Chandrasena Gamage and Air Force Media   


  • A drone belonging to the Indian Coast Guard had taken off from the Mattala Airport 
  • and monitored the wreckage

By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya   

A team of British and Dutch experts including rescue operations experts, disaster assessors and a legal adviser arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday to investigate the MT New Diamond oil tanker which caught fire in the East Coast of Sri Lanka.

They arrived at the Mattala Airport on a special flight yesterday morning to investigate the incident and make necessary recommendations on how to proceed.   They left for their operation at the New Diamond after being subjected to PCR tests at the airport.   The Navy said a team including the Chief Fire Officer of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority was also scheduled to inspect the ship yesterday.   

Navy said three ships of the Sri Lanka Navy, five ships of the Indian Coast Guard, a warship of the Indian Navy, the tugboats Rawana and Wasamba of the Hambanthota International Port Group were engaged in firefighting operation as of yesterday in addition to ALP Winger, TTT One and Ocean Bliss tugboats of the company that owned the New Diamond ship in distress.   

Navy said three Sri Lanka Navy speedboats and two ships belonging to the Sri Lanka Coast Guard have been deployed as supply vessels for the operation.   Also, a drone belonging to the Indian Coast Guard had taken off from the Mattala Airport and monitored the wreckage of the ship.   


British and Dutch experts including rescue operations experts, undergoing PCR tests at Mattala Airport


Navy said that acting on expert advice, the joint disaster relief which operates at a depth of 40 nautical miles (about 74 km) has so far successfully controlled the spread of the ship’s fire and there is no risk of an oil spill into the ocean.   

New Shipping Limited, the commercial owner of New Diamond based in Athens, Greece, has appointed SMIT Singapore Pvt Ltd, an international company based in Singapore, as its disaster relief partner. 

The company is currently referring experts and equipments to the New Diamond Ship for salvage. 

Sri Lanka Air Force sources said a Bell 212 helicopter dropped 1000kg of dry chemical on the area of the MT New Diamond ship where the fire broke out.   SLAF Spokesman Group Captain Dushan Wijesinghe said that this was the first time the Sri Lanka Air Force used this for fire-fighting.   

“The Sri Lanka Air Force believes that this chemical had made a significant contribution to the complete control of the fire” he said.   

Also, the MI17 helicopter of the SLAF dropped at least 440,000 litres of water from the air to extinguish the fire from September 3.   SLAF aircraft are continuously monitoring the ship’s fire-fighting operation and it’s progress, the spokesman said.   


  • Helicopter dropped 1000kg of dry chemical on the area of the MT New Diamond ship


Oil tank fire completely doused-Navy Chief 

The fire onboard the oil tanker MT New Diamond has been completely doused, Navy Commander Nishantha Ulugetenne said today.

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