The vessel in the image was actually built in 2019

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In June 2021, Sri Lankan Facebook users shared an image of a ship they claimed was built "a few days ago". But the claim is misleading: the ship in the photograph was actually built and delivered to a Japanese company in 2019.

The image of the ship was shared in this post published on June 6, 2021.

The Sinhala text superimposed on the image reads: “How’s the biggest ship made in Sri Lanka that impressed even the Japanese? How does it look -- the biggest ship made a few days ago in Sri Lanka with 100 percent knowledge from local engineers? Within a matter of about 21 months, this ship was produced under the request of a Japanese company.”

Screenshot of the Facebook post captured on June 7,2021

The same image and claim were shared on Facebook such as here, here and here.

However, the claim is misleading.

The ship was not built recently -- manufacturing began in Sri Lanka in 2017 and was completed in 2019.

A Google keyword search found this article published by Sri Lanka’s leading shipbuilding company, Colombo Dockyard PLC, on June 25, 2019.

The article, titled “Colombo Dockyard delivers 'KDDI Cable Infinity' built for Kokusai Cable Ship Co. Ltd. Japan”, says in part: 

“Colombo Dockyard PLC (CDPLC) delivered the first ever modern Cable Laying Vessel built for Kokusai Cable Ship Co. Ltd. (KCS) Japan, on 21st June 2019 attended by a host of dignitaries. This is the biggest ever vessel, price-wise as well as length-wise, built by Colombo Dockyard in its illustrious journey of shipbuilding excellence and the first ever ship built ‘in its class’ from Sri Lanka to Japan.”

The prototype of the ship that was unveiled at the event matches the image of the ship in the misleading Facebook posts. 

Below is a comparison between the photo of the model ship from the 2019 article (L) and the image of the ship in the misleading posts (R) with identical markings highlighted by AFP in yellow: 

Comparison between the photo of the model ship from the 2019 article (L) and the image of the ship in the misleading posts (R) with identical markings highlighted by AFP in yellow:

A keyword further search found this clip published on Colombo Dockyard’s official YouTube channel on August 16, 2019 that features the ship titled: ‘KDDI Cable Infinity Vessel’.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the vessel in the YouTube video (L) and the image in the misleading Facebook posts (R):

Multiple local media reports were published in 2019 regarding the production of the cable ship including here by Sri Lankan online newspaper ColomboPage and here by local news service EconomyNext.