KOCHI: The inquiry officers of the Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) under the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) have seized the navigation records of Amber L, the cargo ship that rammed a boat on Sunday, killing two fishermen off the Kochi coast.
The original official log book, voyage data recorder, original log abstract, night order book, bell book and original GPS log and navigation chart for the voyage were confiscated by the officers who inspected the Panama-flagged bulk carrier as part of the statutory inquiry under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958, said an MMD officer.
A joint inspection by various agencies, which commenced on Monday morning, concluded by 11 pm. Apart from MMD, officers from the Kerala Coastal Police, Indian Coast Guard, Customs, Immigration and Cochin Port Trust were present during the inspection. A representative from the P and I Club and a lawyer representing the owners of the ship were also present on the ship, in addition to the 28 crew members.
Earlier, the High Court had directed the Director General of Shipping to take safe custody of the documents from Amber L. “All the documents have been taken into custody by the officers of the department in the presence of officers from the Coastal Police and Indian Coast Guard and lawyers representing the owners of the vessel. Further scrutiny of the documents will be undertaken by the investigating officers after obtaining permission from the High Court of Kerala,” said an official release issued by the DGS.
The final report of the inquiry will be submitted before the DGS and the Kerala High Court as it has also intervened in the matter, said an MMD officer. Meanwhile, the search operations for the missing fisherman, Moti Chaudhary, 26, hailing from Assam, continued for the consecutive third day. Indian Navy divers also took part in the operations on Tuesday. The body of Rahul Das, 26, hailing from Purapuri in Assam, was sent to his native state from Nedumbassery airport on Tuesday.