ECONOMYNEXT – A joint operation by the Sri Lanka Navy and Indian Coast Guard to douse a fire on X-Press Pearl, a container vessel which caught fire was testimony to the co-operation between the maritime forces of the two nations, India’s High Commission said.
Indian Coast Guard vessels were deployed from May 25 as a fire on board the X-Press Pearl, a container vessel which caught fire off Colombo shortly after leaving Hazira port in India.
Commander of Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne met the Captains of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) vessels when the ships called at Colombo Port on June 10, the Indian High Commission said.
It was important to remain adequately prepared for natural disasters and man-made catastrophes as they could recur, High Commissioner of India Gopal Baglay had said.
The vessel had come to Colombo with a leaking acid container after calling at Hazira port in India.
Sri Lanka Navy sought Indian support, amid widening fears of an oil spill in bad weather after it caught fire.
The three ICG vessels along with Coast Guard Dornier aircraft were actively in the effort, labeled Operation Sagar Araksha II by India.
India had previously supported fighting a fire on MT New Diamond, in what was called the Operation Sagar Araksha I.
“Combined operations by India and Sri Lanka were testimony to jointmanship and interoperability achieved between the maritime services of the two countries,” the statement said.
“Over the years, India has emerged as the first responder in the region in dealing expeditiously and successfully with humanitarian disasters or maritime accidents.
“This trend is in line with the vision of SAGAR- Security and Growth for All in the Region and also reflects our commitment to the Neighborhood First policy.” (Colombo/June10/2021)