Singapore team to assist salvage efforts | Daily News


Joint effort douses oil ship blaze

Singapore team to assist salvage efforts

The blaze on board MT New Diamond has been completely contained, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne confirmed. He added that it is not totally assured that the fire will not rise again depending on the temperatures on the MT New Diamond.

Sri Lankan and Indian ships continued to pool their resources together from Thursday for fighting the fire on board MT New Diamond and ensuring that the oil storage area is not affected.

The salvage operation was carried out in safe waters 40 nautical miles (about 74 km) away from land and it was joined by the Indian tug ‘Ocean Bliss’ on Saturday (5).

Disaster Management Operations continued amidst the rough seas and arrangements have been made to diminish the aftermath of this disaster with cooperative efforts.

The distressed oil tanker in eastern seas was manned by 23 crew members including five Greeks and 18 Philippine nationals. The tanker was transporting 270,000 metric tons of crude oil from the port of Mina Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Indian port of Paradip when this happened.

New Shipping Limited, the commercial owner of New Diamond in Athens, Greece also appointed SMIT Singapore Pte Ltd, an international company based in Singapore, as its Emergency Rescue Party yesterday.

The company is currently providing professionals in crude oil disaster management and equipment to the MT New Diamond for salvage. The TTT One, which is currently at the distressed vessel, has a team including a rescue chief who can handle such disasters. Meanwhile two more large tug boats that can handle crude oil tankers are to join TTT One and those two tugs have already left Singapore and Mauritius.

SMIT Singapore Pte Ltd has taken action to inform the Sri Lanka Navy about the persons and goods being brought in and the Sri Lanka Navy is ready to assist in this regard.

Ten British and Netherlands experts in rescue operations, disaster evaluation and legal consultation were expected to arrive yesterday and make future recommendations regarding the upcoming events, with the inspection of the disaster management work of the MT New Diamond.

In addition, a team including the Chief Fire Officer of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority was scheduled to inspect the ship yesterday.

For the first time after this incident, the Sri Lankan Navy has provided the opportunity to the 20 crew members who were rescued from the distressed vessel now safely onboard SLNS Sindurala to connect with their dear ones through telephone.

Apart from that, three capital ships of Sri Lanka Navy, five ships of Indian Coast Guard, one ship belonging to the Indian Navy, two tugs of Hambantota International Port Group - Wasaba and Rawana, the ALP Winger tug, the TTT One tug with firefighting equipment and professionals and the Ocean Bliss tug were engaged in firefighting efforts.

Additionally, three Sri Lanka Navy FACs and two ships belonging to the Sri Lanka Coast Guard have been deployed as supply vessels for the operation.

A Dornier aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard was scheduled to take off from Mattala Airport to monitor the sea area where the distressed oil tanker is placed.

Navy sources further mentioned that the joint disaster rescue carried out on the instructions of the experts has successfully controlled the fire and there is no oil leaking from the ship to the sea.

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