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Coast Guard Deploys Ships, Aircraft on Rescue Mission after Oil Tanker Catches Fire Off Lankan Coast

The oil tanker caught fire off the coast of Sangamankanda in the eastern district of Ampara. (News18)

The oil tanker caught fire off the coast of Sangamankanda in the eastern district of Ampara. (News18)

The Panama-registered tanker New Diamond was carrying 2,70,000 metric tonnes of crude oil from Kuwait to India when its engine room caught fire off the coast of Sangamankanda in the eastern district of Ampara.

The Indian Coast Guard on Friday said it has deployed its assets for fire-fighting and oil spill related activities after a crude-laden tanker bound for the country burst into flames off the eastern coast of Sri Lanka on Thursday. Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has deployed its ships and Aircraft for Search and Rescue (SAR) and fire fighting mission, approximately 37 Nautical Miles east of Tirrukkovil (South East Sri Lankan Coast) for saving 23 merchant crew onboard MT New Diamond, a Defence release here said.

"In a joint effort the 22 crew of the ill fated ship have been evacuated. ICG has diverted its ships Shaurya and Sarang on patrol for fire fighting and other assistance for the distressed vessel," it said.

ICGS Sujay with helo and divers has also been dispatched from Chennai. Further, its Pollution Response Vessel Samudra Paheradar has sailed out of Vishakapatnam for oil spill response.

"CG Dornier has been deployed from Chennai for aerial recce. ICG formations have been alerted for immediate assistance towards pollution response. ICG is in constant communication and maintaining coordination with Sri Lankan authorities for the operation," it added. An oil tanker carrying crude from Kuwait to India burst into flames off the eastern coast of Sri Lanka on Thursday,leaving one of its 24 crew members missing and another injured.

The Panama-registered tanker New Diamond was carrying 2,70,000 metric tonnes of crude oil from Kuwait to India when its engine room caught fire off the coast of Sangamankanda in the eastern district of Ampara.