(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – The ill-fated MV X-Press Pearl container ship, which burned for 13 days in the seas off Colombo Harbor has completely submerged now, the Singapore flagged ship’s operators said Thursday.
X-Press Feeders, operators of the container ship X-Press Pearl, confirmed that the wreck is now wholly sitting on the seabed at a depth of 21 meters.
Caretaker salvors are onsite on a 24-hour watch to deal with any possible debris and report any form of a spill from the sunken fuel bunkers of the ship, the operators said in a statement.
A grey sheen continues to be observed emanating from the vessel, and discoloration of the sea in and around the wreck remains. This has been apparent since the vessel’s stern became submerged, and the remnants of the cargo in the 1486 containers that were onboard were exposed to seawater.
Representatives of ITOPF and Oil Spill Response are monitoring updates from the scene and are ready to deploy in case of any reported spill.
Due to the exposed nature of the anchorage to the prevailing South Westerly Monsoon, it is likely that the wreck removal can only start after the SW monsoon subsides; caretaker services will remain on site until then. They will continue to minimize pollution and monitor the wreck’s condition and report daily to experts ashore and Government agencies.
Additionally, the caretakers will install navigational warning lights and markers on the wreck for the safety of other vessels. When conditions allow, side-scan sonar will be used to locate any sunken containers or debris in the anchorage for removal, the X-Press Feeders said.