Crude oil tanker named MT New Diamond was on it’s way from Kuwait to India. It was on boarded with a whopping load of 270,000 metric tons of crude oil.
When New Diamond was travelling close to the Sri Lankan Coast just 37 nautical miles away from it to be exact, The ship caught on fire.
According to Sri Lankan Navy sources,The fire had erupted in a boiler chamber of the Ship. This has caused an explosion and it has costed a life to an onboard ship crew member as well.
How ever out of 23 crew members onboard, SL Navy was able to rescue 22 including ship’s captain.
If an oil spill occurred it could have been the ‘biggest destruction on maritime history’
Although the ship’s crew on board was rescued, Sri Lanka coast guards faced the biggest threat to its ocean. If 270,000 metric tonnes of crude oil were allowed to get spilled, this could easily have been the biggest destruction ever to be seen on the ocean. It could have covered the entire southern & eastern coasts of Sri Lanka causing the greatest maritime massacre in the history of humankind.
A 3-day joint operation of fighting the fires
As the fire gets escalated to the hull area of the ship, Sri Lankan Navy seeked help from Indian Coast guard and they came to help.
Their first challenge was to take the ship away to the deep sea to minimize the impact by oil spill to the beach & Shores.
“#ICG & Sri Lankan ships and aircraft along with tug ALP Winger after consolidated efforts successfully towed #MTNewDiamond more than 35 NM away from #SriLanka coast to safe waters. #FireFighting continues and fire now reduced. No oil slick reported,” ICG tweeted.
In a tweet on Friday, ICG had said, “Concerted joint #SAR & #FireFighting efforts by ICG Ships, SL Navy & tugs resulted in the rescue of 22 out of 23 crew safely. Search for 01 missing crew (Filipino) in progress. No oil spill reported in the area. 02 Emergency Towing Vessels being deployed by GoI for #MTNewDiamond.”
The Coast Guard had earlier said that after Sri Lankan Navy sought their assistance for the firefight, it immediately diverted ICG Ship Shaurya, besides a Dornier aircraft for the oil tanker MT New Diamond.
“#FireFighting in progress in consultation with Master of #MTNewDiamond onboard #ICG ship Shaurya along with Tug APL Winger. Additional #ICG ship Ameya & Abheek being deployed #today in PR configuration to augment efforts. 02 CG Dornier aircraft also being deployed for air efforts,” ICG had informed via tweet.
Finally a good news!
On Friday late night, Sri Lankan Navy declared that the fire erupted in the ship MT New Diamond were contained successfully.
The Sri Lankan Navy, Sri Lankan Air Force and Indian Coast guard together contained the massive fire saving the world from it’s biggest ever maritime destruction.
Thank you! to the #SLNavy , the #SLAirforce, the #SLPA and the Indian Defense Forces for their efforts in controlling the fires in MT New Diamond.— Gotabaya Rajapaksa (@GotabayaR) September 5, 2020
I greatly appreciate your Contribution in conserving Marine biodiversity by preventing a disastrous situation out in the ocean. pic.twitter.com/5kik3ErPwJ
Indian warship INS Sahyadri joins operation to battle fire onboard MT New Diamond of Sri Lanka #MaritimeSecurity pic.twitter.com/ffJx0XYG8y— Rajat Pandit (@rajatpTOI) September 4, 2020
The Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard are currently working together to control the fire that erupted after an explosion of a boiler in the main engine room of MT New Diamond. pic.twitter.com/ZOnMc4T2b3— Shehan Madawa 🇱🇰 (@shehanmlive) September 4, 2020
SLAF First to Respond to Distress Call of MT New Diamond Oil Tankerhttps://t.co/30VuycsFsN pic.twitter.com/aL0yTozpas— Sri Lanka Air Force (@airforcelk) September 4, 2020
Indian Coast Guard has rescued 22 Crew Members.— SSBCrackExams (@SSBCrackExams) September 5, 2020
Indian Coast Guard has also deployed 6 ICG ships & 2 aircraft for fire fighting & pollution response at Sri Lankan oil tanker 'MT New Diamond'.