Oil spill clean-up operation of Sri Lanka Navy

A leak in a pipeline carrying oil occurred in the seas off Uswetakeiyawa on last 8th Sep. and a spill of oil was observed on the costal stretch near Dickovita following the oil leak. The slicks of oil spreading over the sea surface and in costal line were removed in a strenuous operation launched jointly by the personnel attached to Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Coast Guard.

The oil mixed into sea water in Uswetakeiyawa costal stretch would have seriously damage the eco system in the area. Sri Lanka Navy which always committed to protect aquatic resources and costal line, hurrying into action, removed the oil slicks and cleaned the eco system of the coastal line with minimum pollution to the environment. SLCGS Samaraksha and SLCGS Samudra Raksha which were donated by Japanese government to the Sri Lanka Coast Guard for costal protection, were deployed for this oil spill clean-up operation. This operation manned by more than 300 personnel attached to Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Coast Guard and Sri Lanka Army was assisted by the Marine Environment Protection Authority, Sri Lanka Petroleum Cooperation and also Sri Lanka Air Force.

Accordingly, a pre basic study to find out the disposition of oil spill was carried out with the help of Coastal Patrol Vessels and drone cameras of SL Navy, Y 12 Air Craft of SL Air Force. Later on, oil mixed sand on the beach was removed and packed in polythene sacks. The oil slicks floating on the sea surface were pumped into bowsers and these packed sand and pumped sea water were sent to Oil Storage Terminal at Muthurajawela for safe disposal. Further, special soaking clothes were used to remove the remaining blots of oil. Oil spread over the metal ridge laid to stop beach erosion, was cleaned using high pressured water and cut-piece clothes. Subsequently, by now, Sri Lanka Navy with the assistance of other supporting units, has completely removed the oil spread on the sea and beach under all safety measures and brought the environment to its normalcy. The specialized knowledge of the officials of Marine Environment Protection Authority was also obtained for this task. A massive ecological damage that would have been occurred by the oil spill was able to brought minimum since the comprehensive knowledge and experience acquired through the frequent oil spill exercises carried out by the naval personnel in coordination with Sri Lanka Coast Guard. Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Coast Guard will continue observation missions in the sea and costal line of these areas in future too.

Sri Lanka Navy is on frequent alert and committed to protect aquatic resources and costal eco systems with the assistance of Sri Lanka Coast Guard and Marine Environment Protection Authority.