Probe begins into boat collision
By Express News Service | Published: 20th November 2012 10:37 AM |
The Cochin Port Trust and the Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) have initiated separate inquiries into the incident on Sunday in which a passenger boat collided with the Navy’s aircraft carrier INS Viraat. The Cochin Port inquiry is being conducted by deputy conservator Captain Paul N Joseph.
Nearly 100 passengers of the KSWTD boat had a miraculous escape as it got caught in the waves generated by the propellers of a cruise ship ‘Celebrity Solstice’ and rammed into the aircraft carrier INS Viraat in the shipping channel near the Cochin Port’s Q berth around 4.10 pm on Sunday.
The Port authorities alleged that the boat was in the wrong position and was not navigating along the designated route. The boat from Vypeen was going to Ernakulam. As per the route it has to cross the Ernakulam channel and move through designated way. According to reports it is learnt that the boat was moving near the wharf,” said an official.
INS Viraat had come to Kochi for annual refit and was docked at the Ernakulam wharf of the Cochin Port.
There is an allegation that the cruise vessel sounded alarms prior to its movement. According to Commander Jose, a retired naval officer, the international practice is to make sound alarms before any movement of the vessel, weather sailing or change in the course.
KSWTD Superintendent has written to the Deputy Conservator of the Port Trust asking him to provide the schedule of cruise ships. “Since there is no separate channel to steer our boats, it is the responsibility of the Cochin Port Trust to provide us with the departure and arrival timings of big ships,” KSWTD Superintendent Joseph Xavier said.
The KSWTD has completed a probe into the issue. “We have taken statements from the shrank and the driver who said that they had lost balance due to the heavy waves caused by the ‘Celebrity Solstice’. The driver has told us that the ship did not sound any siren,” he said.