Colombo, June 2 (NewsWire) – Distressed vessel MV X-Press Pearl has begun sinking due to a water leak, State Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said.
He said the salvage crew on board the fire engulfed vessel has informed that the ship has begun sinking in its current position.
Therefore, vessels have been prevented from entering through the Negombo lagoon for fishing activities.
State Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said a temporary ban has also been imposed on fishing from Panadura to Negombo with immediate effect.
The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) has also issued a warning for a possible oil spill from the sinking ship.
Following the warning, State Minister Wijesekera said measures have been taken to protect the Negombo Lagoon from any debris or an oil spill from the vessel.
Fishermen in the deep seas and in and around the Negombo coast have also been requested to be vigilant of debris from the vessel.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Navy said a special operation is underway to tow the vessel into the deep seas towards the West of Sri Lanka.
The Navy said a group of Navy personnel had assisted the salvage crew to board the vessel this morning.
However, it has been noted that parts of the rear end of the MV X-Press Pearl have begun to sink.
They added that the salvage crew, thereafter, commenced towing the vessel into the deep seas.