World Maritime Day celebrated for the first time in Sri Lanka | Daily News

World Maritime Day celebrated for the first time in Sri Lanka

World Maritime Day was celebrated for the first time in Sri Lanka on board the “8 Degrees Floating Boat” at Cinnamon Lakeside, recently.

This event was organised by Capt. Nish Wijayakulathilaka, the IMO Goodwill Maritime Ambassador and the Vice-President (Global) of the Nautical Institute (UK) to increase awareness on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security, and the marine environment.

The theme for the event was ‘Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet’. The event was sponsored by Akalanka Ratnayake, Director of International Marine Service (Pvt) Ltd.

Among the highlights of the event was a panel discussion which was attended by Prof. Admiral Jayanath Colombage - FNI, Ph.D. (Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs); Dr. Leslie Hemachandra, AFNI, Ph.D. CEO Laugh Maritime- IMO Consultant; Dr. Dan Malika Gunasekara, MNI, Ph.D. - Maritime Lawyer, Owner DANMAR; Eng. Saman Kumarasinghe, Country Manager - DNV GL, and Prof. Nalaka Jayakody, FNI, DSc, Vice-Chancellor of Northshore Campus.

Prof. Admiral Colombage, answering a question on Sri Lanka’s future development plans to help the economy and barriers identified to implement the same, explained that since the Far East to Europe main sea route is just about 15 Nautical Miles South of Sri Lanka, the country can be developed to become a major maritime hub.

Dr. Hemachandra spoke on seafarer’s education and said that local seafarers are highly skilled and will not be leaving the sea due to the COVID-19 pandemic for alternative jobs.

Prof. Jayakody explained reasons for the past few accidents, incidents, collisions, and the explosion of ships.

He explained that 90% of these accidents were due to human errors.

Eng. Kumarasinghe, highlighing steps that should be taken during a tanker fire, said, “The world’s big countries try to save their environment by implementing very low Sulphur regulations (ECA)”.

He was answering questions regarding the MT New Dimond fire and explained the firefighting mechanisms that were used on it.

He further explained low Sulphur fuel oil regulations, MARPOL Annex VI regulations, the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), and the importance of ratification of IMO conventions.

Dr. Gunasekara spoke about ‘UNCLOS 1982’ (Salvage Convention of 1989), the Civil Liability Convention for Oil pollution damage of 1992, Fund convention of 1992, Intervention Convention of 1969, and SOLAS. High profile guests from the industry also took part in the event.