The Singaporean-flagged vessel X-Press Pearl is sinking off the coast of Sri Lanka after two weeks of salvors’ attempts to put out the fire and prevent the vessel from breaking up and sinking.

“Although the salvors have tried and exhausted all means, the operation had to be temporality aborted for safety reasons,” confirmed Sri Lanka Ports Authority earlier today (2 June).

Salvors have established a connection to tow the vessel into the deep sea in order to minimise the sea pollution, “but the rear area of the ship has drifted,” Sri Lanka Navy spokesman Captain Indika Silva told the BBC.

The fears of a major environmental disaster have been raised, as the 2,700TEU vessel has approximately 278 tonnes of bunker fuel onboard.

Source: Sri Lanka Ports Authority

SLPA said yesterday (1 June) that salvors observed that the engine room of the vessel was flooded.

“There are now concerns over the amount of water in the hull and its effect on the ship’s stability. Efforts to make a connection for towing failed after several attempts due to the tug’s movement caused by the swell. The operation was aborted for safety reasons,” said X-Press Feeders, the operator of the vessel.

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