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Shipowner denies causing death of three

Shipowner denies causing death of three
HAMZA M. SENGENDO October 08, 2018

DUBAI: A ship owner who allegedly caused the death of three of his workers has denied the charge at the Dubai Misdemenours Court.

The Iranian defendant, 54, faces the charge of causing the death of the Indian victims (aged 18, 28, and 30) and injury of three countrymen after he allegedly failed to provide the necessary safety tools.

The deceased trio died after the oil tanker ship capsized at Palm Deira, according to records. The ship moved as a result of strong winds and collided with one of the breakwaters on Palm Deira.

The deceased men were reported missing after being trapped somewhere between the body of the ship and the breakwater. Their bodies were discovered the same day and pulled out by coast guard.

The survivors who sustained injuries said they were ordered by their captain -who died among the three victims- to jump off the ship. The deceased jumped off the ship into the sea and drowned.

The defendant during interrogations told prosecutors he had sold the ship to an Emirati woman in 2014. The woman did not pay the full amount. He filed a law suit against her at the Dubai Courts

The courts in August 2016 issued a ruling putting the ship under a freezing order and banned it from entering the UAE water. “The ship was five nautical miles away from the Palm Deira.

“I regularly maintained it. I provided food and water and paid wages to all the six members of the crew who were onboard since it had been banned from entering the UAE,” said the owner.

“An unknown person contacted to tell me about the deaths. I contacted the coastguard then went to Al Hamriyah police post. There were safety tools including two lifeboats, 20 lifejackets and flares.”

The Emirati woman told police she paid the ship’s price but the owner changed his mind, refused to hand it over and accused her of defaulting. This forced her to file a counter case against him.

A maritime city authority investigation team said in its report that the six men onboard being inexperienced sailors were not prepared to assess the dangerous situation nor to deal with it accordingly.

The report also stated that the ship’s body and engines were old and lacked necessary maintenance thus its main engine failed to maneuver it to avoid crashing into the breakwater. A ruling is expected this month.