Supertanker MT New Diamond fire contained | Sunday Observer
President thanks those who assisted:

Supertanker MT New Diamond fire contained

6 September, 2020

The Sri Lanka Navy said the fire on board the supertanker MT New Diamond was contained and the ALP Winger tug took the oil tanker 40 nautical miles away from the shore, a media release from the Navy stated yesterday (5). A spokesman for the Navy said that the feat was possible due to the efforts of the Sri Lanka Navy and other stakeholders.

The undercurrents and the wind had pushed the crude oil tanker towards Sri Lanka’s coastline and the vessel had reached about 20 nautical miles shore wards on Thursday.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a twitter message yesterday thanked the SL Navy, SL Airforce, SL Ports Authority and the Indian Defence Forces for controlling the fire in MT New Diamond.

“Thank You to the SL Navy, the SL Airforce, the SLPA and the Indian Defence Forces for their efforts in controlling the blaze in MT New Diamond. I greatly appreciate your contribution in conserving Marine biodiversity by averting a disaster in the ocean,” the message stated.

The Navy said fire extinguishing efforts are still under way. “There is a risk of occasional fires due to deep sea winds and such unexpected fires are being controlled by tugs and Indian Coastguard ships deployed at the location. Helicopters are also used for these firefighting efforts,” the Navy release said.

At present, three capital ships and three Fast Attack Crafts of the Sri Lanka Navy, two ships belonging to the Sri Lanka Coastguard, three ships of the Indian Coastguard, one ship belonging to the Indian Navy, two tugs of the Hambantota International Port Group – Wasaba and Rawana, the ALP Winger tug, the TTT One tug with firefighting equipment and professionals had been deployed in the firefighting. The MI 17 helicopter and the Beach Craft of the Sri Lanka Air Force are continuing aerial operations to assist in the combined disaster relief efforts.

Two Dornier aircraft of the Indian Coastguard have been stationed at the Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport for an emergency, the release added.

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

The continuous cooling effect during the disaster relief operation had controlled the fire spreading to the crude oil store of MT New Diamond. As a result, there is no risk of an oil spill so far, the release stated.