The owners of the ill-fated container ship on fire, MV X-Press Pearl, sought the services of ‘Smit Salvors’, which helped disentagle a giant container ship that ran aground in the Suez Canal recently, reports the Island Online.
Firefighting tugs called in
Firefighting tugs, ‘Posh Teal’ and ‘Salwar’ arrived in Sri Lankan waters on Friday night and Saturday (23). Well informed sources said that foreign assistance had been enlisted as Sri Lanka lacked capacity to fight the fire.
The stricken vessel operated by the world’s largest feeder operator X-Press Feeders is anchored nine nautical miles north west of the Colombo harbour. It is carrying chemicals.
SLPA tries to put out fire
Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) along with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Airforce have been working on extinguishing the fire for days now.
#srilanka_navy in coordination with SL Ports Authority exerting itself to get developments under control, following the fire broke out onboard MV X-PRESS PEARL at anchorage off Colombo harbour on 20 May 2021. pic.twitter.com/dbQ2G23Nnh
— The Sri Lanka Navy (@srilanka_navy) May 21, 2021
Three tugs from the SLPA were employed to reduce the heat in the surrounding area of containers. Sri Lanka Naval Ship Sindurala and a Fast Attack Craft were deployed to the scene to assist the ongoing firefighting efforts. Meanwhile, the navy has made a tug ready for immediate deployment in the event of any emergency.
Separately, the Sri Lanka Airforce has dropped around 425 kilograms of dry chemical powder from a helicopter to help contain the fire.
Local media reported that the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) of Sri Lanka has ordered the owner of the feeder to move the vessel out Sri Lankan waters immediately to ensure the safety of the citizens and the environment.
The distressed container ship has a crew of 25 members, who are Philippine, Chinese, Indian, and Russian nationals. There have been no reports of injuries.
Update on the incident
The fire on board the X-Press Pearl is reported under control at an anchorage off the coast of Colombo, Sri Lanka, but fire-fighting efforts are continuing, according to the vessel’s operator.
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Source: The Island Online