An Indian Coast Guard ship (L) approaches the Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl that partially sank after burning for almost two weeks, just outside Colombo’s harbour on June 4, 2021, as foreign experts have been deployed to help Sri Lanka contain a potential oil leak (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP via Getty Images)
INDIA has sent its naval ship INS Sarvekshak on Thursday (24) to support Sri Lanka’s survey efforts around the gutted cargo vessel sunk outside the port of Colombo.
The INS Sarvekshak was deployed upon a formal request from the government of Sri Lanka to ensure the safety of navigation in areas outside the Colombo harbour.
“In continuation of Operation Sagar Aaraksha 2, the joint survey operations would assist in restoring safe navigation in the area and compliment India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy that calls for, amongst other things, swift support in mitigating such calamities in the Indian Ocean Region,” the Indian high commission said.
The arrival of the ship, fitted with the state-of-the-art survey equipment including the side scan sonar, would assist in the survey efforts being undertaken in the vicinity of the ill-fated MV X-Press Pearl and off Colombo, it said.
The joint survey operations would have the coordinated participation of the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), Sri Lanka Navy and Indian Navy
The Singapore-flagged cargo ship, which caught fire on May 20, was reportedly carrying 1,486 containers out of which large numbers fell into the sea before the fire was doused after an extensive India-Sri Lanka joint operation as part of Operation Sagar Aaraksha 2.
Many institutions have assessed that the containers that fell off the ship could pose a threat to the livelihood of the fisher community staying along the western coast of Sri Lanka as also to the safety of navigation of marine traffic operating through Colombo port.