Inadequate caution blamed for boat-ro-ro collision

Inadequate caution on the part of crew of both the tourist boat and the roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) vessel that was operating in the Fort Kochi-Vypeen stretch resulted in Friday’s collision between the two vessels near the Fort Kochi jetty, it was concluded at a hearing of the incident that was convened by the Department of Ports on Tuesday at Alappuzha.

Officials of the department heard viewpoints of crew of both vessels and reached the conclusion. A report on the incident and the outcome of the hearing would be handed over to the CEO of Kerala Maritime Board on Wednesday, said a senior port official.

The boat Bay King was found wanting on half a dozen counts. Its driver did not have a licence as mandated by Kerala Inland Vessel (KIV) Rules. The vessel also failed to give way to a bigger vessel (in this case the ro-ro ferry), leading to the collision. It continued cruising till the Coastal Police intercepted it, despite suffering damage on its side in the impact of the collision. Even worse, its crew failed to provide life jackets to the 29 tourists on board, before and after the collision. All this may attract penalty like cancellation of registration.

On their part, the driver (who sits on an elevated position) and fellow crew members of the ro-ro ferry failed to communicate with each other while ‘reversing’ the vessel from Fort Kochi jetty. The collision could have been averted if a crew member had warned of the tourist boat approaching the vessel’s pathway. “We have suggested that they communicate through walkie talkie. Moreover, the ro-ro’s crew did not offer help to people in the boat,” official sources said.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 2:23:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/inadequate-caution-blamed-for-boat-ro-ro-collision/article30916040.ece

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