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ICG ships continue its efforts to control fire onboard MV X-Press Pearl off Colombo
MV X-Press Pearl
Image Credit: UNI

ICG ships continue its efforts to control fire onboard MV X-Press Pearl off Colombo

| @indiablooms | 30 May 2021, 11:42 pm

New Delhi/UNI: Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Sunday said that its ships have been is working tirelessly to extinguish the massive fire onboard container vessel MV X-Press Pearl off Colombo in Sri Lankan water.

The ICG and Sri Lankan Navy jointly have taken up this challenging round-the-clock fire-fighting operation named as Operation Sagar Aaraksha 2 since May 25.

“At present, three ICG ships and four tugs deployed by Sri Lanka are involved in the operation and continuously fighting the fire by spraying foams and sea water using external fire-fighting systems. The non-stop joint firefighting efforts have yielded positive results with increasing signs of fire being under control. Smoke density has also reduced. The fire has been localised to a small area near the aft section of the vessel”, the officials in the ICG said.

They also said that two ships ‘Vaibhav’ and ‘Vajra’, in addition to their fire-fighting capabilities, are also equipped with adequate Pollution Response (PR) capabilities for oil spill.

The presence of a specialised PR vessel ICGS Samudra Prahari since May 29, has provided added strength to overall fire fighting capabilities while ICG Dornier aircraft sorties are being undertaken daily from Madurai for aerial assessment of the situation.

Reports from the ships and aircraft indicate that there has been no oil spill.Further, with the careful and measured execution of firefighting operation, no change has been observed in trim and draught of the vessel indicating that the stability and watertight integrity of the vessel is intact, the ICG officials added.

A similar joint operation between the two countries was named Sagar Aaraksha in September 2020 when ICG Ships and Sri Lankan authorities were involved in a fire-fighting operation onboard MT New Diamondoff the East Coast of Sri Lanka.

MT New Diamond was carrying 2,70,000 Metric Tonnes of crude oil at the time of the incident and a major oil spill was averted due to the joint effort by ICG and Sri Lankan authorities.

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