Salvors have boarded the fire-stricken VLCC New Diamond (IMO 9191424) and have begun repair work on the ruptured fuel oil tank in the engine room the vessel, the Sri Lankan Navy has reported.
The supertanker was 52nm east of the Sri Lankan coast, Navy spokesman Indika de Silva told Reuters.
“Salvors are on board. They plugged the leak and the repair is still going…They have vacated the ruptured tank and transferred the dirty water into the ballast section”.
A boiler explosion on September 3rd caused a fire to break out in the engine room of the New Diamond. he ship A mile-long of marine oil slick has been left in the wake of the ship as it was being towed further away from the coast. The oil is fuel oil rather than the crude oil being transported.
A team of officials from Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) visited the tanker on Monday to inspect and collect samples of marine fuel oil from the vessel. MEPA has said that it plans to take action against the ship’s owner under the country’s laws to protect the marine ecosystem.
Indian Oil Corp, which chartered the ship to import oil from Kuwait to Paradip in eastern India, is awaiting a salvor’s report, its chairman SM Vaidya said.
“We will be looking at salvors’ recommendation as to which is the nearest port they can tow the vessel to for ship-to-ship transfer of the oil cargo,” Vaidya told Reuters.
He said that eventually the crude oil on board would be taken to Paradip refinery for processing.
De Silva said that seven tug boats were keeping watch on the vessel and to provide support to the salvors from SMIT Singapore who are carrying out the repair work.
2000-built, Panama-flagged, 160,079 gt New Diamond is owned by Porto Emporios Shipping Inc care of manager New Shipping Ltd-Lib of Piraeus, Greece. It is entered with West of England (Claims Team Greece) on behalf of Porto Emporios Shipping Inc.