Science

Sri Lanka: the “black box” of the cargo ship which partially sank recovered

The voyage data recorder (VDR), a ship’s equivalent of a “black box”, from a freighter that burned for nearly two weeks before partially sinking off Colombo was recovered on board, have announced the local authorities.

This VDR will allow investigators to know exactly the procedures and orders on board the boat before its accident.

The Sri Lankan authorities hope that he will provide explanations on the decisions taken and the exchanges with the captaincy of Colombo, which was his port of destination.

“The navy helped technicians recover the VDR from the bridge, which is still over the sea,” navy spokesman Indika de Silva told AFP.

The Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl began to sink on Wednesday after falling victim to a 13-day fire off the capital.

The boat, which notably carried 25 tons of nitric acid and enormous quantities of plastics, was crossing between the Indian state of Gujarat and Colombo.

According to the Center for Environmental Justice (CEJ), an association, the crew was aware of an acid leak – which ended up causing the fire – as early as May 11, long before entering the waters. Sri Lankan territories.

An investigation has been launched in Sri Lanka. The captain and his chief engineer – two Russians – were questioned, and their passports were seized.

Members of the Sri Lankan Navy pick up debris from the cargo of the burning MV X-Press Pearl container ship off the port of Colombo on May 31, 2021 (AFP / Archives – Lakruwan WANNIARACHCHI)

The authorities are worried about a risk of an oil spill. But there is so far no visible sign of a leak of the 350 tonnes of fuel.

The island’s tourist beaches and the surrounding waters were submerged in millions of plastic granules that the cargo ship was carrying, causing in particular the ban on fishing, which is important in the region.

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