The Ports Department will conduct a detailed inspection of the hull and deck of the houseboat that partially sank near Kumarakom on Sunday, once the vessel is salvaged.

The probe will reveal whether the houseboat complied with the Kerala Inland Vessel Rules, 2010. Sources said preliminary investigation showed watertight bulkheads (commonly called compartments) were not built on the hull of the houseboat.

Such compartments could have prevented the accident, they said.

“Records at the Alappuzha office are being verified to find out when the vessel was surveyed and whether the owner took steps to implement the recommendations made by the surveyor,” a source said.

Members of the crew said a hole developed in the hull and the houseboat sank after it hit a wooden stump. These aspects are being investigated.

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