Press Release

Combined damage control efforts successfully control reignited fire on MT New Diamond due to inclement weather

Damage control teams successfully brought the fire, which reignited aboard MT New Diamond as a result of adverse weather, under control by morning hours of today (09th September 2020). There are no flames or smoke to be noticed as of now and the distressed ship is being towed further away towards safe waters by a tug. Accordingly, the distressed oil tanker is now about 37 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point and the damage control operation is continuing at full steam in rough sea conditions and strong winds.

Further, a narrow diesel oil patch extending to one kilometre away from the ship was observed last evening. In such circumstances, a Dornier aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard was flown to the site to airdrop diesel dispersant to minimize the potential impact on the marine environment. Also, a Marine Research Ship owned by the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) has arrived in the sea area and is conducting further studies regarding the case.

Under the directives of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne another specially trained Firefighting and Damage Control team from the Sri Lanka Navy is scheduled to set off to the site today (09th September 2020). They would board the ship to review its present standing and gather specifics to decide future course of action, once the disaster situation on the ship is completely under control.

Meanwhile, the damage control operation is continuing with the unwavering contribution of ships, tugs and aircraft hurried by Sri Lanka Navy and rest of the partners in mission. This collaborative effort also receives ample support from the foreign salvage and damage control teams. In this backdrop, the Sri Lanka Navy remains vigilant to the future development of the incident and will continue to work in close coordination with the partners in mission until the disaster situation is completely resolved.