Charterer claims VLCC New Diamond to be towed to UAE as captain faces pollution charges

Photo: Sri Lankan Navy

The company which had chartered the very large crude carrier (VLCC) New Diamond at the time of an onboard explosion and fire incident off Sri Lanka early last month has stated that the damaged vessel will be towed to the UAE port of Khor Fakkan where its cargo of oil will be offloaded.

Indian Oil Corporation said that the crude will then be loaded onto another tanker for transport to India’s Paradip Port, New Diamond‘s final destination at the time of the September 3 incident.

The charterer has not yet provided details on when the Panamanian-flagged VLCC will be brought to the UAE.

Meanwhile, New Diamond‘s captain has appeared in a Sri Lankan court after being charged with violations of the country’s Marine Pollution Prevention Act.

The charges were filed after local authorities spotted oil leaking from one of the vessel’s fuel tanks in the days following the explosion, which had also claimed the life of one crewmember.

Court officials said the captain will not be placed under their custody until the next hearing in the case, tentatively scheduled for October 12. However, a magistrate has agreed to impose a travel ban to prevent the suspect from leaving Sri Lanka while the case is still pending.

See more stories from this month’s Tug and Salvage Week here.

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