Indian Naval Ship (INS) Shakti with 100 tons of oxygen arrived at the port of Colombo this evening. Earlier, a commercial vessel arrived in Colombo with 40 tons Oxygen. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Naval Ship Shakthi ship scheduled to arrive in Colombo midnight today (22nd August) with approx. 40 tons of oxygen consignment.
In response to a call of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne, from the Chief of Naval Staff of India, Admiral Karambir Singh, Indian Naval Ship (INS) Shakti was rushed to Sri Lanka with a batch of medical-grade oxygen, ordered from India. Accordingly, the ship which left the Visakhapatnam Port with freight of approx. 100 tons of oxygen on 19th August 2021, arrived at the port of Colombo this evening (22nd August).
In accordance with the directives given by President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to keep up the supply chain of oxygen for treatment of COVID-19 patients, Commander of the Navy made a personal request from the Chief of Naval Staff of India, to assist the prompt dispatch of medical-grade oxygen, ordered from India. As a result of that, this generous gesture transpired, signifying the long-standing cooperation between the two navies.
INS Shakti is a 175m long Fleet Tanker in service with the Indian Navy. The ship is manned by a crew of 158 and she is commanded by Captain ABY Mathew. The visiting ship was welcomed adhering to COVID-19 protocols in effect, at the port of Colombo by Sri Lanka Navy. Upon unloading the 05 containers of medical grade oxygen brought in, the ship is scheduled to depart the island on 23rd August, carrying the empty ones back.
In the meantime, on the morning of 23rd August, Commander of the Navy is expected to make a visit of inspection at the Unity Container Terminal (UCT) at the Colombo harbour, where INS Shakti is berthed alongside. During this visit, Commander of the Navy will share a light moment with the crew of the ship and extend his profound gratitude to the Indian Navy for swiftly sending this batch of oxygen to Sri Lanka, on the request of Sri Lanka Navy.
In a separate development, Sri Lanka Naval Ship Shakthi that left Trincomalee harbour for Chennai port in India on 17th August for a shipment of medical-grade oxygen reached the port of Chennai on 18th August. Taking the delivery of oxygen the ship departed Chennai on 20th August and is scheduled to arrive in Colombo midnight today (22nd August) with approx. 40 tons of oxygen consignment.
In the meantime, Sri Lanka Navy is quite prepared to cooperate with navies in the region and render its noble duty for the country, with the mutual support of regional partners and utilizing own assets to the best of its potential, whenever the Navy is called for service.