Oil tanker fire reduced, vessel towed to safe waters, no oil slick reported : ICG

Chennai: With the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) augmenting the ongoing firefighting efforts of IOC-chartered oil tanker ‘MT New Diamond’ by deploying a ship and another dornier, the illl-fated vessel was towed to safe waters from the Sri Lankan coast.

Coast Guard in a series of tweets said the ICG, and Sri Lankan ships and aircraft alongwith tug ALP Winger, after consolidated efforts, successfully towed the vessel more than 35 nauticalo miles away from the Sri Lanka coast to safe waters.

The ICG said the firefighting continues and the fire has now been reduced. No oil slick was reported, the ICG said, adding, ICG augmented the ongoing firefighting efforts with CG ship Ameya reaching scene of incident on Saturday.

It said a dornier aircraft was also deployed to operate from Mattala in PR configuration for any oil spill contingency.

Yesterday, the ICG said thanks to concerted efforts 22 of the 23 crew members of the oil vessel were safely rescued and the searches were in progress to trace one missing crew, who is a Filipino.

The ICG ships also successfully doused the fire in the accomodation area and ICG Shaurya was continuously fighting fire with three tugs engaged in boundary cooling.

It also said a two metre crack was observed neart Port aft portion 10 metres above the waterline.

On Thursday, the IOC-chartered oil tanker, carrying about 2,70,000 metric tonnes of crude oil, caught fire after an explosion on board.


NT Bureau