In the aftermath of a Panama merchant vessel allegedly ripping apart an Indian fishing boat on Sunday killing two fishermen, an FIR has been registered on Monday against the crew of the vessel under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Earlier on Monday, a team of officials from various departments began investigating navigation records and other details of the merchant vessel, ‘Amber L’. Officials said 15 personnel from departments including the Directorate General of Shipping, coastal police, immigration, customs, and mercantile department boarded the Panama-registered cargo ship ‘Amber L’ to gather evidence. They were taken in two boats to the ship currently anchored around 7 nautical miles off Kochi coast, officials said.
Two Indian fishermen were killed and 11 others injured when Amber L allegedly hit their fishing boat early on Sunday off the Kochi coast. Out of the 14 crew members on board, 11 were rescued by fishing boats operating in the vicinity and two bodies were recovered. After the incident, one fisherman has been missing. Coastal police authorities said a coordinated search and rescue operation by the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard is being conducted to locate the missing fisherman.
The Navy has launched an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) from the Naval Air Station, INS Garuda, while Coast Guard District Headquarters, Kochi immediately launched a Dornier aircraft. INS Kalpeni and a Coast Guard ship have also sailed to locate the missing fisherman. Navy said, the NC3I system at the Joint Operations Centre (Kochi) and Remote Operating Station (ROS) of Coast Guard having AIS and Radar capability were used to try and identify the merchant ship which was responsible for the collision.
Using these systems, the suspect merchant vessel MV Amber L was identified as its position at the time of the incident was close to the reported location. A Coast Guard Ship with a police team was deployed on Sunday for carrying out the primary investigation. The merchant ship has been directed not to leave Kochi till the investigation process is complete and its position is being monitored by Coast Guard Remote Operating Station (ROS).
with PTI inputs