Crew evacuates laden VLCC off Sri Lanka as fire erupts

The crew of the laden Panamanian-flagged New Diamond VLCC have evacuated into life rafts off Sri Lanka after a fire in the engine room escalated. The Sri Lankan navy has rescued all crew, with one seafarer reportedly suffering severe burns from the blaze.

The ship, owned by Adam Polemis’s New Shipping, was on charter to Indian Oil Corp, taking a cargo of crude from Kuwait to Paradip Port on India’s east coast when the blaze struck, some 40 km off Sri Lanka’s southeast coast early this morning. The Sri Lankan navy and airforce have been drafted in to try to avert a ecological disaster breaking out. The tanker is carrying 270,000 tonnes of crude.

Accident investigators at the Panamanian registry are set for a busy few months with the flag home to some of the most high profile casualties of late – including the Wakashio newcastlemax off Mauritius and yesterday’s tragic sinking of the Gulf Livestock 1 off Japan.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. The published photo shows black smoke likely coming from a Pump Room; not the Engine Room as stated in the article.

Back to top button