Four of the eight seafarers remaining in Sri Lanka following the X-Press Pearl fire and sinking in May/June this year have been allowed to leave the country.

X-Press Feeders said that four out of eight crew that had been unable to leave Sri Lanka for over six months since the casualty had had their travel bans lifted.

“Arrangements are currently being made for their immediate repatriation to their families after spending more than six months in Sri Lanka after their evacuation from the vessel on May 25, 2021,” the company said.

X-Press Feeders said it continued to work on lifting travel bans on the four remaining seafarers who are currently staying in a Colombo Hotel.

“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. We are providing as much support as possible to these much-valued seafarers and their families and are hoping to see them repatriated as soon as possible.”

Following the casualty the ship’s Russian Master was arrested and released on bail on suspicion of committing offences under the Marine Pollution Prevention Act.

The X-Press Pearl started to sink on June 2 after a container fire burned on the vessel for two weeks. Explosions were reported from the vessel in late May. The crew were safely evacuated, with two crew hospitalised for leg injuries.

Source: Seatrade Maritime News