COLOMBO, Sep 12, 2020, Sri Lanka Mirror. The Government of Sri Lanka has complete salvage rights to claim the distressed MT New Diamond oil tanker, Captain of the Merchant Navy Isharaka Perera said, Sri Lanka Mirror reported.
He said the oil tanker must be towed to Sri Lankan territorial waters and anchored, adding that the Government should make claims for the salvage, negligence and incompetence of the captain and the crew of the distressed ship.“The super tanker is equipped with an insert gas system with nun-return valve, which is the safest measure installed to ensure an explosive free atmosphere within the cargo tanks.
Otherwise it could cause direct damage to the double hulled safe cargo tanks.
Since the vessel is double hulled, fully loaded and purged with inert gas, there was no chance for an explosion during towing and salvage operation”, he said.
Captain Isharaka Perera further said that due to a lack of knowledge on the Government’s part a Singapore firm had obtained the reward provided for salvage operations conducted with regard to the MT New Diamond.
It was standard practice to provide the reward to the country involved in salvaging any distressed vessel within its territory.
However, a Singapore company that had entered as a third party in salvage operations had undermined Sri Lanka and are trying to obtain the reward money, he alleged.The MT New Diamond caught fire on Wednesday (03) off Sangamankanda Point.
The fire was completely doused on Sunday (06) by the joint efforts of the Navy, Air Force and other international assistance.