Two senior officials from Directorate General of Shipping have started investigating the records of M.V. Grietje to find out whether it was involved in the Saturday’s accident in which a fisherman from Kasimedu Fishing Harbour went missing.
The general cargo ship flying Antigua Barbuda flag is currently docked in West quay of Chennai Port Trust and its records are being scrutinised as it was in the vicinity at the time of mishap.
On March 16, a fishing boat with three fishermen got struck about 20 to 25 nautical miles of Chennai coast. As the fishermen were repairing it, a big vessel hit it at 4.30 a.m. Due to the collision, fisherman Anandan went missing and others swam to safety. As it was pitch dark, these fishermen were unable to read the vessel’s name or sign mark.
According to sources, M.V. Grietje has finished loading operations on March 17, but was not allowed to leave by the port officials pending the outcome of the probe being carried out by the Coast Guard, the Police and Mercantile Marine Departments.
Apart from carrying out sorties to find the missing fisherman, the Coast Guard also conducted a probe. But, the case was handed over to DG Shipping as it was a marine fatal case. The help of DG Shipping was sought when officials of the Mercantile Marine Department were unable to draw a conclusion. On Tuesday, officials were involved in retrieving the data from seized records and in conducting underwater survey. Talking to The Hindu, Director General of Shipping Gautam Chatterjee said: “We have sent a senior radio officer and nautical officer. They are looking into the records obtained with the help of Long Range Identification and Tracking System and Automatic Identification System to ascertain whether it is the same vessel involved in the mishap. As of now, we have not got any convincing proof.”