Sri Lankan Navy with assistance from India doused a major fire on board a huge Panama- registered container carrier off the coast of Colombo April 5. The fire broke out last night on the merchant ship MV MSC-Daniela when the 14,000-container carrier was about 120 nautical miles away from Sri Lanka.


Sri Lanka's Naval spokesman Chaminda Walakuluge said that the navy responded to a distress call from a local agent of the container vessel, which was travelling from Singapore to Egypt.


On a request from the Sri Lankan Navy, the Indian High Commission promptly acted and the Indian Coast Guard vessel ICGS Shoor, on a goodwill visit in Colombo, was dispatched to assist in extinguishing the fire on the vessel.





The Sri Lankan navy had dispatched two Fast Attack Craft (FACs) on the scene to escort the vessel in distress. The firefighting mission was also joined by the SLNS Sagara, a Sri Lankan Navy vessel, patrolling in the southern seas.


Both Shoor and Sagara are equipped with firefighting equipment and have specialised firefighting personnel on board.


"In addition, the Indian Navy had also directed two of their ships INS Darshak and INS Garriel to the location," a release said.

Three more SLN FACs were also dispatched to the scene for the evacuation of 21 crew members in case the fire spread, endangering the safety and life of the crew, it said. "There are no casualties among the crew," Walakuluge said.


The endeavour clearly demonstrates the maritime cooperation between Sri Lanka and India in dealing with rescue missions in the maritime domain, the Indian High Commission statement said.


The Sri Lanka Navy expressed its gratitude to the Indian High Commission for their prompt response.