A kilometre-long patch of diesel has spilled from the MT New Diamond, the stricken tanker which suffered a fire onboard while sailing off the east coast of Sri Lanka.
On Monday, the Sri Lanka Navy reported that the fire had been ‘completely doused’ and a spokesperson said there was no real risk of an oil spill.
However, fire did break out again onboard the tanker – although Sri Lanka Navy said it was brought ‘under control’ this morning – and there has also been confirmation of an oil spill.
In an update posted today (9 September), the Sr Lanka Navy reported: ‘A narrow diesel oil patch extending to one kilometre away from the ship was observed last evening. In such circumstances, a Dornier aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard was flown to the site to airdrop diesel dispersant to minimise the potential impact on the marine environment. Also, a Marine Research Ship owned by the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) has arrived in the sea area and is conducting further studies regarding the case.’
The Sri Lanka Navy said that ‘there are no flames or smoke to be noticed as of now’ and the New Diamond ‘is being towed further away towards safe waters by a tug’. The vessel’s last reported position was about 37 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point. The Navy added that the disaster management operation is ‘continuing at full steam in rough sea conditions and strong winds’.