Update – Sri Lanka Navy in coordination with and Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is working in full swing as of now (22nd May 2021) to contain the fire onboard the MV ‘X-PRESS PEARL’ which confronted this unfortunate turn of event while at anchorage off Colombo harbour on 20th May.
A special team comprising officials from Sri Lanka Navy, Ports Authority and Marine Environment Protection Authority reached the location of the fire-hit container ship on 21st May 2021 and monitored the situation further. Currently 03 Tugs from the SLPA are employed to reduce the heat in surrounding area of containers as flames being visible time to time on top of the containers above weather deck.
Further, Sri Lanka Naval Ship Sindurala and a Fast Attack Craft have been still deployed in the scene of action to assist the ongoing firefighting efforts. Meanwhile, the Navy also has made a Navy Tug ready for immediate deployment in the event of any emergency.
Sri Lanka Navy responding immediately to a distress call of fire erupted onboard a container ship ‘X-PRESS PEARL’ in the afternoon of 20th May 2021, promptly dispatched 02 Offshore Patrol Vessels, Sri Lanka Naval Ship (SLNS) Sagara, Sindurala and a Fast Attack Craft to the scene of fire. Further 01Tug from the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is engaged in firefighting efforts as of now. The container ship was in anchorage about 9.5 nautical miles northwest of Colombo harbour as the incident was reported.
The vessel which is registered under the flag of Singapore has carried 1486 containers with 25 tons of Nitric Acid, several other chemicals and cosmetics from the port of Hazira, India on 15th May 2021. The ship faced this unfortunate occurrence while in anchorage about 9.5 nautical miles off Colombo harbour, having arrived to the location on 19th May before its entry into the harbour. The distressed container ship has been manned by a crew of 25, who are Philippine, Chinese, Indian and Russian nationals.
Meanwhile, special team comprising Sri Lanka Navy and Ports Authority (SLPA) personnel got onboard the ship in the evening (20th) and inspected the situation onboard ship where they suspected that the fire was erupted due to a reaction to the chemicals being transported on the ship. Further, special teams of the Navy and Sri Lanka Coast Guard remain standby to respond to possible emergency situation and the SLPA Tug is currently engaged to smother the flames erupted.