The Colombo High Court March 9 issued a warrant to arrest the vessel named ?Formentera?, now lying at anchor in the port of Galle, following a petition by Master Divers (Pvt) Ltd. claiming a reward for saving the vessel during the tsunami disaster.
Master Divers had sued the vessel?s owners, the Mundo Gas Company, for not paying any reward for saving the vessel filled with gas tanks during the tsunami disaster.
Master Divers, filing a petition before Colombo High Court, stated that this vessel was at the port of Galle when the tsunami tidal waves came in shifting the water level about thirty feet above sea level.
The ships including Formentera had been shifted towards the shore as a result of the waves and the petitioner company had employed one of its tugs to save the vessel by pulling it into the middle of the harbour.
In the petition, Master Divers mentions that if the vessel was not salvaged by its tug, the vessel would be completely destroyed or damaged. Apart from this, the company says that there was a serious risk that the gas tanks would be damaged causing a fire and an explosion of an unimaginable magnitude.
The Petitioner company further stated that the vessel contained approximately 4.4 million litres of highly inflammable liquid petroleum gas. They had claimed a reward of US$ 5,000,000 as a reward for their service in saving the vessel, though there was no contract signed by the parties for the immediate operation. But Mundo Gas has refused to pay this amount. When Master Divers petitioned the Colombo High Court about the matter yesterday, the Court issued warrant to arrest the vessel in question.