The wreckage of the X-Press Pearl may be resting in part at the bottom of the sea peacefully, but the issues surrounding the burning and eventual sinking of the ship has still not come to an end.
Dead turtles continue to wash up ashore in Sri Lanka even as the Captain of the X-Press Pearl appears in court and satellites show potential oil pollution 70 kms off the coast..
As everyone is aware by now, the the X-Press Pearl, a Singapore flagged feeder vessel operated by X-Press Feeders started burning on the 21st of May off the coast of Sri Lanka.
On the 2nd of June, the vessel started sinking despite valiant efforts to fight the fire and as of 12th June is still hanging in there with the fore (bow) of the ship clinging to its last vestiges above the sea level while the aft of the vessel is submerged and resting on the sea bed at a depth of 21 meters.
Despite valiant efforts by the ship salvors, Sri Lankan Navy, Indian Navy and many other entities involved in the firefighting and salvage operations, as expected, it has been announced that the journey of the X-Press Pearl has come to an end.
X-Press Feeders, operators of the container ship X-Press Pearl issued a notice that despite salvors successfully boarding the vessel and attaching a tow wire, efforts to move the ship to deeper waters failed, and the ship’s aft (rear) portion is now at the bottom of the sea bed at a depth of 21 meters and the bow (front) slowly sinking as well.
The news about X-Press Pearl is fast becoming a sensation (next probably only to the Ever Given – which is still stuck in Egypt by the way) as the interest in its happenings is growing day by day.
As of the 31st May 2021, the news was that the flames on board the ship has been contained although the ship was still emitting smoke.
In the meantime, local news media in Sri Lanka is reporting that based on an order the Colombo Additional Magistrate’s Court, the Captain, Chief Engineer, and the Second Chief Engineer of the ship have been banned from leaving Sri Lanka as investigations are continuing.
It is rarely that a 2-3 month old ship faces a possible fiery end of its life.
The world hopes that will not be the case with the X-Press Pearl – a Singapore flagged 36150 DWT container ship which is still burning in Sri Lankan waters, off the port of Colombo since the 21st of May.
This is amid serious concerns of severe environmental impact due to the incident in which several containers have already fallen off the ship and have washed up ashore, especially near Negombo a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka.
As you may have read, the X-Press Pearl, a 1400+ TEU capacity, 2 month old feeder vessel operated by X-Press feeders on their Singapore/Middle East service is currently burning in the Indian Ocean close to the port of Colombo.
The fire which started on the 19th of May 2021 while waiting at anchorage, was subsequently brought under control with the help of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lankan Airforce which dropped fire suppressing powder on the vessel, but the fire started again followed by an explosion which is still burning.
Here is the latest update on the situation.
Alone, and on fire – this seems to be the status of X-Press Pearl, a feeder vessel operated by X-Press feeders on their Singapore/Middle East service currently burning in the Indian Ocean close to the port of Colombo, is one of the premier transhipment hubs in the Indian Ocean.
The Sri Lankan Attorney General’s office has indicated that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the Captain of the VLCC, New Diamond, under the country’s marine pollution act as well as the penal code for criminal negligence and pollution charges..
This announcement has seemingly raised concerns in shipping circles about the number of Captains who have recently been held personally responsible for maritime disasters..