Italian ship violated maritime law

The Italian ship Enrica Lexie was sailing not far from the shore, and rule violations by the ship were galore, investigations into the circumstances and the material on board the ship conducted by the mercantile marine department here show.

Examination of the various documents and other material on board the ship berthed here are almost complete, and violations of the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation have come to light, sources in the department said.

Various documents, the log book and the ship’s GPS have been examined. While a detailed analysis of the data would be undertaken over the next few days, indications are that the ship was sailing “not far away” from the coast.

Little material was available from the voice data recorder, which is a crucial evidence for the investigation, since it had all got erased. Data from the VDR can be accessed only if the switch is pressed immediately after a calamity, or in this case the firing, the sources pointed out.

A preliminary inspection of the data obtained from the ship’s records clearly indicated that the ship was not sailing far away from the coast, as was claimed by the Italian authorities.

The convention is applicable if the ship navigates to, into, through or from the waters beyond the outer limit of the territorial sea of a single state. Going by this, a case can be initiated for violation of the convention laws, the source said.

Upon completion of the data analysis, the department, which is assisting the police in the probe, would submit its report. Shipping secretary K Mohandas had said the report would be ready within a fortnight.

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