2 June 2021
* It is reported that the engine room of container carrier X-PRESS PEARL has flooded and the vessel is sinking.
* Salvors reportedly attempted to tow the vessel to deeper water by attaching a tow line to the vessel, although these efforts have now been abandoned for safety reasons.
* The vessel is expected to be a total loss and consequently it is most unlikely that there will be any further Salvage or General Average requirements.
* Steps are being taken to investigate Recovery aspects with a view to mitigating losses and in this regard a Forensic Expert has been retained.
*We already represent many interests with cargo loaded onboard this vessel and may be able to offer some economies of scale to reduce your costs.
*Should you insure any cargo and require our assistance, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible.
28 May 2021
* It is reported that the fire on board fully cellular containership X-PRESS PEARL continues to intensify and has now engulfed most of the vessel and cargo. Firefighting tugs deployed by Indian and Sri Lankan Authorities continue to attempt to extinguish the fire, although their efforts are being hampered by poor weather conditions brought about by the onset of South West monsoons.
* A number of containers are reported to have fallen overboard and are washing up along the Sri Lankan coast.
* It is now more likely than not that the vessel and cargo will be a total loss and it is feared that the vessel may sink, causing further environmental damage. We continue to monitor this situation closely, as security requirements for salvage and general average are dependent on whether any property onboard is saved.
* It is likely recovery issues will arise from this casualty and we recommend you contact us if you insure cargo on board which will almost certainly be affected by the fire.
* Fully cellular container vessel, X-PRESS PEARL, understood to be carrying 1,486 containers including 25 tons of nitric acid, experienced a serious fire onboard whilst at anchor off Colombo Port, Sri Lanka on 20th May 2021. Local authorities deployed tugs and naval assets to fight the fire, which was understood to be largely under control in the initial stage, but there was then reportedly an explosion on board on 25th May 2021 whereupon the situation appears to have deteriorated with the fire seemingly spreading to other areas of the vessel and which has also resulted in the crew of 25 seafarers being evacuated. Local Authorities have ordered that the vessel move / be towed further offshore to minimise the potential for environmental pollution near the port of Colombo. It is currently unknown whether the stricken vessel can be successfully salved given the current circumstances and we are closely monitoring events in this respect.
* An LOF salvage contract is understood to have been signed with professional salvors and General Average has also been declared. Therefore, Salvage and General Average securities may be required from all cargo prior to delivery, assuming of course the particular cargo in question is not a total loss. We can assist with the provision of such security where required.
* Cargo surveyors have been retained to inspect cargo in due course and we have also appointed an expert surveyor to consider the cause the fire. Inevitably, given the worsening situation, there will now be considerable delay before the vessel can be safely accessed and cargo examined.
* We are already instructed by Insurers with interest in cargo on board and consequently we may be able to offer certain economies of scale in terms of third-party costs that need to be incurred.
* Should you have any interest in cargo on board this vessel we recommend you contact us as soon as possible so we may take steps to protect your interests.