Four X-Press Pearl crew finally allowed home

X-Press Feeders, the owner of the burnt out wreck X-Press Pearl, have reported that a further four former crew members of the vessel have had their travel bans lifted by a Sri Lankan court on Friday and they will now be able to head home, more than six months after the ship blaze destroyed the vessel off the west coast of Sri Lanka.

X-Press Feeders said it is working with the Sri Lankan authorities towards the further lifting of travel bans for the four remaining crew members who remain housed at a hotel in Colombo.

“We are very aware and concerned about the toll that their lengthy separation from family and friends is taking on them mentally and physically and the ongoing burden placed on their families at home,” X-Press Feeders stated in a release.

Shanghai Salvage Company will start work on the removal of the wreck next month. Meanwhile, Resolve Marine has commenced the recovery of the containers and debris that were lost overboard during the vessel fire and subsequent sinking. The debris has been identified through side-scan sonar operations, undertaken during July and August.

The 2,700 teu X-Press Pearl caught fire in May. The burnt-out ship eventually sank in shallow waters, with tons of cargo spilling on to Sri Lanka’s shoreline.

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.
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