Since May 20, the Sri Lanka Navy and Indian Coast Guard have been working around the clock to try to stop that from happening as the blaze engulfed the container ship, which was laden with chemicals such as nitric acid and carrying 350 tonnes of oil in its tanks.
"The bow is still afloat, but the stern is submerged and resting on the sea bed", de Silva said.
An official involved in the mitigation efforts said earlier that local experts feared the vessel was unstable.
A huge amount of plastic debris has already inundated beaches, and authorities now fear an even greater disaster should the 278 tonnes of bunker oil and 50 tonnes of gas in the Singapore-registered ship's fuel tanks leak into the Indian Ocean.
As of 1100 Hours on May 31, 2021, Sri Lankan time, the salvors have confirmed that the vessel's hull remains structurally intact, and there has been no loss of oil into the port's waters.
Below, a crab roams on a beach polluted with polythene pellets from the ship.
Worldwide shipping expert and lawyer Dan Gunasekera said that divers could be used to pump out the bunker oil safely.
She said the ship is believed to have been carrying 81 containers of hazardous goods and about 400 containers containing oil.
Worldwide salvage firm SMIT is leading efforts to douse the flames and is being assisted by Sri Lanka's navy and the Indian coastguard.
The blaze has destroyed most of the ship's cargo.
Eighty-one containers were carrying chemicals, including 25 tonnes of nitric acid which had been leaking since May 11, nine days before the fire broke out. "They are transported by the wind and currents - will remain at the surface until beached and will persist in the marine environment for ever as they are not biodegradable", Pattiaratchi wrote on his Facebook page.
"The President gave instructions to issue an order to tow the vessel into the deep seas based on the powers vested with the Chairman of the Marine Environment Protection Authority and based on technical facts as well as the advice of the Attorney General", a statement from his office said. The government has said it will take legal action against the owners of the ship to claim compensation.
He said the livelihoods of thousands of fishermen, most from the country's Catholic minority, were now under threat.
Tonnes of microplastic granules from the ship and its almost 1,500 containers have inundated Sri Lanka's famed beaches, forcing a fishing ban and sparking fears of ecological devastation. At least one container has leaked nitric acid.
A salvage crew is towing the vessel to deeper water, Mr Wijesekera added.