IMO expresses deep concern over impact of X-Press Pearl fire and sinking

Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), has issued a statement expressing his “deep concern to all impacted by the incident involving the container vessel X-Press Pearl”.

He added that he wholeheartedly appreciated the efforts of the Sri Lankan and Indian authorities for their successful rescue of the crew, bringing them to safety. “I also thank the salvors for their efforts,” he said.

Lim said that the IMO was “closely monitoring the situation as it evolves, including reports of chemical pollution, debris coming ashore in the form of plastic pellets, and the potential for oil pollution.”

The IMO is liaising with its UN partners UNEP and OCHA and with the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme SACEP with regards to possible assistance. Lim said that the IMO was also in communication with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Environment (MEPA) for any specific technical assistance that IMO may provide.