Navy and members from Salvor board MT New Diamond for inspection
Sri Lanka Navy and other damage control teams, through their continuous missions, have successfully doused the re-ignited fire triggered by adverse weather onboard MT New Diamond on 07th September.
It is concluded, that the onboard crude oil storage is safe and the enormous efforts put in by damage control teams prevented the fire reaching crude oil storages, averting a colossal maritime disaster.
After the fire being doused in the early hours of 09th September 2020, three (03) members from the Salvor boarded the fire-damaged ship for investigations before another six (06) man team from overseas got aboard in the same evening, for inspection.
Meanwhile, another tug sent by the company providing salvage services for MT New Diamond, reached the site of the distressed vessel for ongoing missions at night on 09th September 2020. Apart from that, 17 member salvage team from the Salvor company alongside 04 from Sri Lanka Navy boarded MT New Diamond this morning and they are currently doing inspections and damage assessments.
The operations are being continuously conducted in rough sea conditions about 50 nautical miles (93km) off Kalmunai where the fire-stricken ship is currently located.
Meanwhile, 09 ships from Sri Lanka Navy, Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy together with 02 Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ships and 03 Fast Attack Craft from 04th Fast Attack Flotilla, as replenishment vessels and 06 tugs deployed by other stakeholders are actively engaged in the operation further. Apart from that, aircraft of the Sri Lanka Air Force and a Dornier aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard are doing aerial reconnaissance intermittently.
In the meantime, a Y-12 aircraft of Sri Lanka Air Force detected a fuel slick about 10 to 30 meters wide and about a nautical mile long. Accordingly, a Dornier aircraft from the Indian Coast Guard was flown to the location to spray dispersants on the area where the slick was located. However, it is believed that this slick was not caused by a crude oil leak from the ship.
The preliminary investigations into the distressed ship have already been completed. Meanwhile, the ship's engine and pump rooms have been flooded with sea water, stabling in trim by aft condition. Therefore, it is suspected that the fuel slick was caused by sludge oozed with flood water.
Further, efforts are being made to remove toxic gases and other vapours, caused by fire, from the engine room and other compartments of the ship, as of now.