Ten 10 British and Dutch professionals with expertise in rescue operations, disaster evaluation and legal consultation have arrived to assist with the salvage operations of the ill fated Panama-flagged New Diamond oil tanker.

New Shipping Limited, the commercial owner of New Diamond in Athens, Greece, has appointed SMIT Singapore Pte Ltd, an international Singapore-based company, as its salvage expert. The company is currently sending equipment and experts in crude oil disaster management to MT New Diamond to commence the salvage operation, the Sri Lanka Navy said.

The TTT One, which is currently at the distressed vessel, has a team including a salvage chief who can deal with such disasters. Meanwhile, two more large tugboats that can handle crude oil tankers are to join TTT One and those two tugs have already left Singapore and Mauritius.

The SLN said  disaster management operations  continued on Saturday despite some rough seas and strong winds .

Three capital ships of Sri Lanka Navy, 05 ships of Indian Coast Guard, 01 ship belonging to the Indian Navy, 02 tugs of Hambantota International Port Group - Wasaba and Rawana, the Tug ALP Winger , the Tug TTT One with firefighting equipment and professionals and the Tug Ocean Bliss are engaged in the firefighting efforts as of now.

In addition, three (03) Sri Lanka Navy FACs and two (02) ships belonging to the Sri Lanka Coast Guard have been deployed as supply vessels for the operation.

Moreover, a Dornier aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard is scheduled to take off from the Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport today and monitor the sea area where the distressed oil tanker is currently placed.

The joint disaster relief operation, which is being carried out on the instruction of experts, has so far successfully contained the spread of the ship's fire and there is no report of the ship leaking oil into the sea.

Efforts at dousing the fire on the New Diamond oil tanker continue (pix.credit Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF)
The ship was towed to safe waters & is about 40 nautical miles (about 74 km) away from land