Thursday, June 13, 2024
One killed, another missing in ‘hit and run’ on Valaichchenai high seas

Merchant vessel violated ROR regulations – Navy

by damith
May 19, 2024 1:18 am 0 comment 2K views

By Leon Berenger

The Navy was yesterday investigating a bizarre ‘hit and run’ on the Eastern high seas after an unidentified vessel rammed into a fishing craft killing one fisherman while another remains missing and presumed dead, a senior Naval official said.

The incident took place after dusk on May 12, some 47 kilometres off the Valaichchenai Coast and in poor weather, Navy Spokesman Captain Gayan Wickramasinghe said.

He said the Navy along with other fishermen were yesterday towing the crippled fishing craft to the Valaichchenai Fishing Harbour along with two crew members who escaped unhurt while another fisherman was being treated for injuries and shock at the Trincomalee Government Hospital.

“We are treating the incident as a ‘hit and run’ case since the merchant vessel had failed to stop in serious violation of the ‘Rule of Road’ (ROR) maritime regulation.

We hope to gather more information such as name, serial registration or even the colour of the merchant vessel from the surviving fishermen once they reach land and this will help us in the ongoing probe”, Captain Wickramasinghe said.

He said, however, on the other hand even the fishermen could have been careless and not followed simple procedures such as having a red and yellow light to indicate that it is a fishing vessel.

“However, whatever the circumstances that led to the incident the navigators of the merchant vessel have failed to act in a humane manner after the incident.”

Captain Wickramasinghe said it is standard procedure that the vessel should have stopped and looked into the well-being of the aggrieved party and also joined in the search for survivors.

Sadly, though this was not the case, every effort will be made to track down the rogue vessel with the assistance of international maritime organisations and justice meted out to the victims.

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