KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday ordered detention of the Panama-flagged merchant vessel ‘Amber L’ involved in the mid-sea collision with a boat off the Kochi coast, killing two fishermen.
The court has directed the Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) to ensure the ship does not leave the Kochi coast till June 27.
The directive was passed on a petition filed by the fishermen who survived the mishap and the owner of the boat ‘Carmel Matha’. The plea sought a directive to detain the vessel till the claim for a compensation of `6.08 crore was settled or the owner of the vessel or its agent furnished security for the amount.
The petitioners alleged the master of the vessel was negligent and rash in navigating the vessel, resulting in the accident which caused destruction of the fishing boat, its accessories, the catch and their personal belongings.
“If the vessel is allowed to sail out of the Indian territorial waters, the petitioners will not be able to pursue their claim against the foreign vessel as its owner does have any assets in the country. Therefore, the ship should not be allowed to sail unless the compensation claims are satisfied or security for the amount was furnished,” the petition stated.
Amber L allegedly rammed the fishing boat boat about 16 nautical miles off the Puthuvype coast on June 11. There were 14 fishermen on board when the collision happened. Two fishermen were killed and one went missing. He is yet to traced. The Coastal Police have registered a case against the captain of the vessel for culpable homicide.