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Homesick sailors' internet link caused Mauritius grounding

A SEARCH for an internet link during the celebration of a crewman's birthday appears to have been the cause of the 203,130-dwt Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Wakashio running aground last month off Mauritius and causing an fuel oil spill, say investigators

09 September 2020 - 19:00

A SEARCH for an internet link during the celebration of a crewman's birthday appears to have been the cause of the 203,130-dwt Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Wakashio running aground last month off Mauritius and causing an fuel oil spill, say investigators.

'This change of course was to look for a telephone and internet signal for crew members to communicate with their families,' said Panama Maritime Authority, whose investigators or in Mauritius.



'The captain, chief engineer and first officer were on the bridge when the situation of approaching land occurred,' said the investigators' report,



'However, no action was implemented to correct the course, and avoid a dangerous situation. The last position taken in the ECDIS [Electronic Chart Display and Information System] generated an analysis which would have allowed pertinent actions to correct this situation,' said the statement.



'The lack of supervision and monitoring of the navigation equipment, the distraction generated by the officer of watch, who lost the course of navigation completely, and the excess of confidence during the watch, could be some of the reasons that caused the ship running aground in the beaches of Mauritius.' said the report.


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