Press Release

Related to the press release under the title ‘Fire breaks out on Panama-flagged New Diamond oil tanker’ issued on 04th September 2020 at 1100 hrs

Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, the Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy, Sri Lanka Ports Authority are currently engaged in a joint effort to control the fire raging in the oil tanker, MT New Diamond caused by an explosion.

Meanwhile, the Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) ‘Sarang’ has arrived for damage control mission, to the sea area where the ill-fated oil tanker is located. Moreover, a special tug called TTT One which is equipped with dedicated firefighting equipment, professionals and is capable of undertaking firefighting operations at sea is scheduled to reach the scene with another Indian Coast Guard Ship this evening.

Further, considering these turn of events as an urgent matter of national importance, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Hambantota International Port Group, Colombo Dockyard Limited, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Indian Oil Corporation has provided AFFF fire extinguishing chemicals which are being transferred by Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship ‘Samudraraksha’, ‘Samaraksha’ and the Sri Lanka Navy Ship ‘Samudura’ from the ports of the Hambantota, Colombo and Trincomalee respectively, to augment the dousing operation.

At present, SLN ships and craft together with the MI 17 helicopter and beach craft of Sri Lanka Air Force, the two tugs ‘Rawana’ and ‘Wasamba’ of Hambantota International Port Group and ALP ‘Winger’ tug made ready by the foreign company that owns the ship in distress are also continuing their firefighting missions to get the tense situation under control.

It is in this backdrop, arrangements have also been made to tow the MT New Diamond to the deep sea at any moment, as soon as the fire onboard gets under control. The distressed vessel lies about 22 nautical miles (35 kilometers) off the coast as of now.