Captain of Wakashio returns to the court
This week, almost six months after its grounding in pristine waters off Mauritius, recovery operations to remove the stern of the Wakashio newcastlemax have begun.
A Chinese salvage company, Lianyungang Dali Underwater Engineering, which has deployed a crane barge, Hong Bang 6, to move it, is undertaking the delicate task of separating the stern from a coral reef.
Three-quarters of the giant bulk carrier at the front was towed 30 km offshore and scuttled last year.
The captain of the ship, Sunil Kumar Nandeshwa, is reappearing today in court. Last week, his chief officer, Hitinamillage Tilakaratna Subodha, told the court that the master had redirected the direction of the ship in search of a wifi internet link to get closer to the Mauritian coastline, something he frequently did around the world.
The charterer of the Wakashio was Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL). The ship diverted from its course on its way to Brazil from Asia, running aground on pristine coral reefs just off southern Mauritius on July 25.
MOL gave the explanation why the ship had changed its passage plan from leaving a 22 nautical mile distance between it and the island of Mauritius to just two nautical miles in a release from December last year announcing steps to avoid another reoccurrence of a Wakashio-style disaster.
Maritime Business World