Press Release

Related to the press release under the title ‘Fire onboard MT New Diamond completely doused’ issued on 06th September 2020 at 1830 hrs

Sri Lanka Navy and other damage control teams were able to bring the fire onboard the crude oil tanker MT New Diamond under control by 3.00 p.m. yesterday (06th September 2020). However, due to the high temperature inside the ship and environmental factors there is a possibility of a return of the fire. Therefore, the vessels and craft dispatched for damage control efforts continue to engage in boundary cooling on the fire engulfed oil tanker.

Meanwhile, a team of 10 British and Netherlands experts, including salvage operation experts, assessors and a legal adviser arrived in Sri Lanka the previous day under the facilitation of the company that works as the commercial and technical operator of MT New Diamond. Accordingly, 06 salvage operation experts of the team were transferred by Sri Lanka Navy craft to the location of the ill-fated oil tanker and they are still studying the situation.

Apart from that, the commercial and technical operator of the distressed vessel also sent another team of 11 damage control experts from the Netherlands, the Britain and Belgium to Sri Lanka this morning (07th September2020). They will also be transferred to the location of the distressed vessel for an inspection by the Navy today

The fire-stricken ship is now lying 30 nautical miles (56 km) off Sangamankanda Point and salvage operations are currently underway. Accordingly, 09 ships including Indian and Sri Lankan ships, 05 tugs, aircraft of Sri Lanka Air Force and 01 aircraft belonging to the Indian Coast Guard are augmenting the damage control efforts further.

Even if the fire on the ship has been brought under control, the Sri Lanka Navy and other stakeholders will continue the damage control operation until the risk of the ship catching fire again is completely eliminated.