Press Release

Related to the press release under the title ‘Fire breaks out on Panama-flagged New Diamond oil tanker’ issued on 05th September 2020 at 0600 hrs

The distressed vessel had reached about 20 nautical miles shorewards yesterday (September 4, 2020) at 1800 hrs. However, with continuous efforts of the Sri Lanka Navy and other stakeholders, the fire was contained and the ALP Winger tug was able to take the distressed oil tanker 40 nautical miles (about 74 km) away from the shore.

Fire extinguishing efforts are underway throughout the whole day (today) on the location. There is a risk of occasional fires due to deep sea winds and such unexpected fires are being controlled by tugs and Indian Coast Guard ships deployed on the location. Helicopters are also used for these firefighting efforts.

As of now, 03 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 further. Meanwhile the MI 17 helicopter and the Beach Craft of the Sri Lanka Air Force are continuing their aerial operations to assist this combined damage control efforts.

In addition, two (02) Dornier aircraft belonging to the Indian Coast Guard have been stationed at the Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport for emergency use.

The owner of the ship has taken steps to appoint a foreign private company with expertise in damage control. The agency is working closely with the Sri Lankan and Indian authorities as well.

The continuous cooling effect during the damage control 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.