The Panama-flagged Japanese ship, which hit a fishing boat off Beypore port, was intercepted by the Coast Guard on Wednesday night. The ship is now anchored at the outer channel of Kochi coast.
By 4.15 pm, the Coast Guard station in Beypore was alerted by the crew members of Al Ameen. By 4.30 pm the information was passed on to Coast Guard district headquarters 4 in Kochi.
Soon, the data about the ships passing through the region were traced by the remote operating station at Coast Guard base in Kochi and maritime regional coordination centre in Mumbai. They detected four ships going south from Beypore. At 9 pm, Coast Guard ship Samar, fast vessel C-144 and a dornier aircraft from Kochi launched a coordinated search.
Coast Guard data analysis zeroed in on M V Izumo and M V Fenghai and they were ordered to stop for interrogation.
The injured fishermen who were admitted to hospital handed over the mobile picture of the colliding ship.
On the basis of this, Coast Guard fast vessel C 144 intercepted the merchant vessel at 12 nautical miles north of Kochi and brought it to the outer channel by 10.45 pm. It is anchored 6.9 nautical miles off Kochi coast now.
The Cochin Port Trust has been requested to monitor the merchant vessel using Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS). There are also Coast Guard and police team on board for preventing any tampering of evidence.
A case was charged under IPC 280/427 and IPC 337. There are 21 crew members (19 Chinese and one Myanmar and Taiwan each). The captain of the ship was identified as Huang Jin Bao of China. ‘’We interrogated the captain and crew members and they told us that they did not know about the accident.
“The voyage data recorders would be checked to know whether the captain had any knowledge about the incident. On the basis of this, legal procedures would continue. Now the crew are cooperating with the investigation. The ship was operating at normal distance from the coast,” Chandran said.
Coastal police officials and MMD officials examined the ship.
Beypore coastal police team arrived at coastal police station in Kochi. The injured fishermen will also come here and be taken to the ship for identification on Friday morning.