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Fire-damaged VLCC tanker became stable and safe near Sri Lanka

Fire-damaged VLCC tanker became stable and safe near Sri Lanka

The fire-damaged tanker New Diamond is "stable and safe" at a location about 50 nautical miles off Sri Lanka 's coast, the Indian Navy announced on Sunday.

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On Sunday an underwater dive inspection was completed by a joint Sri Lankan Navy, Indian Navy and commercial salvage team to determine the vessel's integrity.

According to the Indian Navy, the salvaters are still working on deballasting the vessel and blanking an undersea non-return release.

The fire on board New Diamond erupted on September 3, when a boiler exploded in the main engine room of the vessel.
One of the crew members was killed in the blast, and 22 survivors were safely rescued. The fire burned in the deckhouse, and initially, poor surface conditions and adverse winds complicated the attempt to get it under control. It was reported to have been extinguished on September 6, but on September 7 it reigned; on September 9 it was confirmed again.

After the fire, the New Diamond released an undisclosed amount of bunker fuel into the water but her cargo tanks are intact. According to deputy general manager Jagath Gunesekara, Sri Lanka 's Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) is considering legal action against the shipowner relating to the fuel spill.

The New Diamond is filled with 270,000 tons of crude, and MEPA from Sri Lanka has expressed opposition to granting her access to a refuge for pollution. Usually, a fully laden VLCC draws about 22 meters of water, and Sri Lanka has one harbor-Trincomalee-with a depth of 25 metres.

Maritime Business World 

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