1st Edition

Maritime Accidents and Environmental Pollution - The X-Press Pearl Disaster Causes, Consequences, and Lessons Learned

    420 Pages 132 Color & 4 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    420 Pages 132 Color & 4 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    This book discusses in detail the facts and findings related to the X-Press Pearl container vessel accident that occurred in May 2021 off the coast of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The ship was carrying a large consignment of chemicals and diverse hazardous materials that caused a disastrous and vast environmental and social catastrophe in the region. Through many case studies, accumulated knowledge, and experiences, the authors discuss the accident response, risk mitigation, investigation, and damage assessment activities from the very onset of the accident. It helps researchers and regulators understand the facts of this unique marine chemical accident and to formulate necessary future regulations as well as to develop robust safety and sustainability management systems and safety cultures.


    • Written by authorities who led the team involved in accident response and damage assessment
    • Focuses on identifying plausible root causes, pitfalls in accident response, and weaknesses in current regulatory and management protocols
    • Delivers in-depth understanding of a unique marine chemical accident to help formulate necessary future policies and regulations related to such disasters
    • Includes many case studies related to the accident illustrated with photos and figures that are true evidence of the disaster, the response, and the mitigation
    • Explains and discusses key research findings in a streamlined manner understandable for a wide audience

    A valuable resource for readers in environmental management and policy creation, as well as for researchers, professionals, academics, and students involved in environmental science, chemical engineering, technical safety and sustainability management, maritime, polymer, and ocean sciences. Countries where maritime disasters are a concern will also find this book is an important guide for taking a responsible approach when handling similar situations in the future; not least to avert such events from occurring.

    Chapter 1: X-Press Pearl – The Fateful Journey

    Ajith Priyal de Alwis


    Chapter 2: Recent Maritime Accidents: Chemicals and Plastic Spills

    Ratnayakage Sameera Maduranga Samarasekara, Alawaladewa Hasitha Madhushantha Sandaruwan Siriwardana, Damsara Rasandun Anthony


    Chapter 3: X-Press Pearl:  The Cargo and its Complexity in Impact

    Thejanie Jayasekara, Sajani Piyatilleke, Dilantha Thushara, Shantha Egodage, Ajith Priyal de Alwis


    Chapter 4: The Fate of the Pearl

    Deshai Botheju


    Chapter 5: Onshore Responses During the X-Press Pearl Disaster

    K.P.G.K.P Guruge, T.S. Ranasinghe, I.P Amaranayake, K.R. Gamage, T. Maes, P.B.T.P Kumara


    Chapter 6: Societal and Media Response

    Hemantha Withanage and Chalani Rubesinghe


    Chapter 7: Plastics, Nurdles, and Pyrogenic Microplastics in the Coastal Water Environments: Implications of the X-Press Pearl Maritime Disaster

    Madushika Sewwandi, Kalani Imalka Perera, Christopher M. Reddy, Bryan D. James, A.A.D. Amarathunga, Indika Hema Kumara Wijerathna, Meththika Vithanage


    Chapter 8: Sources and Fate of Plastics into Microplastics: Degradation and Remediation Methods

    G.M.S.S. Gunawardhana, U.L.H.P. Perera, Amila Sandaruwan Ratnayake


    Chapter 9: X-Press Pearl Ship Impact on Sea Turtles

    E.M. Lalith Ekanayake, U.S.P.K. Liyanage, M.S.O.M. Amararathna


    Chapter 10: Impacts of the MV X-Press Pearl Ship Disaster on Marine Mammals in Sri Lankan Marine Waters

    U.S.P.K. Liyanage, P.R.T. Cumaranatunga, E. M. Lalith Ekanayaka, G.A. Tharaka Prasad


    Chapter 11: Impact of MV X-Press Pearl disaster on Coastal and Marine Fish and Fisheries

    P.R.T. Cumaranatunga, K. R. Dalpathadu, H.M.U. Ayeshya, K.A.W.S. Weerasekera, S.S.K.Haputhantri, W.N.C. Priyadarshani, G.K.A.W.Fernando, L.D. Gayathry, H.B.U.G.M.Wimalasiri


    Chapter 12: Impact of the X-Press Pearl Disaster on Coastal and Marine Birds

    Sampath S. Seneviratne and Jude Janith Niroshan


    Chapter 13: Beach and Marine Microplastics: Physiochemical Removal Techniques Targeting Marine Disasters

    Kalani Imalka Perera, Madushika Sewwandi, Weerasuriyage Indika Hema Kumara Wijerathna, Sujitra Vassanadumrongdee, Meththika Vithanage


    Chapter 14: Navigating Container Ship Impacts

    Xiaokai Zhang and Mona Wells


    Chapter 15: Management and Policy Recommendations: MV X-Press Pearl Ship Accident

    Shakeela S. Bandara


    Chapter 16: X-Press Pearl Maritime Disaster: A Framework for Valuation of Environmental Damages

    U. A. D. P. Gunawardena, J. M. M. Udugama, G. A. N. D. Ganepola


    Chapter 17: Lessons from the Pearl

    Deshai Botheju


    Meththika Suharshini Vithanage’s contribution to science has been recognized by The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) presenting the Fayzah M. Al-Kharafi award in 2020. She is listed as a Highly Cited Researcher in 2021 by Clarivate. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka and Institute of Chemistry, Ceylon. She was selected as one of the Early Career Women Scientists by the Organization for Women Scientists in Developing Countries, Italy. Additionally, she received the Best Graduate Researcher Award for Natural Hazards by the American Geophysical Union in 2010. Her outstanding performance in research publications was recognized by the Presidential Awards, Sri Lanka for consecutive 8 years from 2011. Further, she was listed as Top 2% of the most cited scientists across various disciplines globally in 2017, 2019 and 2020.

    Ajith de Alwis is a Senior Professor at the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka and currently the Dean of Faculty of Graduate Studies of University of Moratuwa. Also currently serves as the Chief Innovation Officer of the National Innovation Agency, a new Sri Lankan state institution. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK. He is the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his work, most notable being the Senior Moulton Medal of Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK). He has published many research articles and book chapters in various international and local journals. He was also the Science team leader for Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) from its inception in 2008 to 2011, and Chairman of the National nanotechnology committee at NSF from 2011-2012. He has served in the Council of National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and currently chairs the National Mirror Committee on ISO14000 in the Sri Lanka Standards Institute. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Sri Lanka.

    Deshai Botheju is currently consulting for the Norwegian petroleum and marine industry, within his field of expertise of Safety Engineering & Sustainability (Environmental) Management. For more than 18 years he has been involved in numerous large-scale marine and offshore projects as well as in various research and development projects. He received his Ph.D from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in 2010. Since then, he has been working closely with industry as well as academia as a Senior Engineer and Assistant Professor. He serves as a member of the Xpress Pearl damage assessment team established by the Marine Environmental Protection Agency of Sri Lanka.