Kochi: The initial investigation by the Mercantile Marine Department, Kochi, has come to the “reasonable conclusion” that Panama-flagged merchant vessel Amber L hit the fishing boat Carmel Matha off Kochi coast in the early hours of June 11 killing two fishermen while one went missing. The preliminary report submitted to the directorate general of shipping has found that the ship hit the boat 14.18 nautical miles from the nearest land.
“At the time of incident, Captain Georgiannakis Ioannis, a Greek national, was in command of the vessel and second officer, Galanos Athanasios, a Greek national, was keeping the navigational watch on the bridge,’’ said the report adding Myanmar citizen Zewana was the designated duty able seaman at the time of the incident.
To ensure the smooth conduct of the detailed inquiry, the Principal Officer of MMD Kochi has ordered the detention of the vessel Amber L under Section 443(2) of the Indian Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 until further orders. According to MMD, the initial investigation was conducted with a limited agenda of “ascertaining the location of the incident and to establish the extent of involvement of the ship” in the incident.
“The causes and circumstances of the incident along with its contributing factors, violations of national / international maritime laws if any, professional lapses and human errors, extent of involvement of both the vessels in the incident and the recommendations to avoid recurrence of such unfortunate incidents in the future will be dealt with in detail, as deem fit, in subsequent final report to be submitted to the Central government,” said the MMD. Meanwhile, investigating coastal police officials said a decision on interrogating the ship’s crew would be taken after consultations with their higher-ups. The search for Motti Das, an Assam native who had gone missing after the collision, continued for the fifth consecutive day on Thursday.