Singaporean boxship OEL Freedom suspect in collision in Indian waters
Of course tracing suspects is a great fun for authorities, but it won’t make local fisheries any safer.
Singaporean boxship OEL Freedom is a main suspect in yet another collision with local fishing boat off Kochi, west coast of India. On October 11, fishing boat St Mary, owned by J Antony of Kanyakumari, was hit by a container vessel around 11 nautical miles off the coast, reported local media citing the authorities. The boat had suffered severe damages due to the mishap and its occupants had a miraculous escape – said the owner of the boat.
“Since the incident occurred at night, they could not identify the vessel. However, based on the position of collision, a Singaporean-flagged ship, ‘OEL Freedom’ container vessel, was identified passing in the area. However we are yet to confirm it. For locating the ship, the help of the Coast Guard was sought. It would be difficult to take any action as it is no more sailing near our territory,” an official said.
Whether Indian authorities identify the culprit or not, in won’t make situation any better – small fishing boats, wooden or fiber, hang around heavily trafficked recommended waterways. Fishing boats are badly lit if at all, they don’t have AIS or radar, they can’t identify themselves and warn the approaching big ocean-going vessels cruising at full speed. So what do Indian authorities expect? Of course tracing suspects in collisions, then arresting them for an indefinite period of time, is a great fun for authorities, no doubt about that. But it won’t make local fisheries any safer. Again, shipping is to suffer and bear the burdens of someone else faults and failings. Instead of arresting private security ships, Indian authorities should better clear up their own waters and establish something resembling an order.
Container ship OEL Freedom, IMO 8510362, dwt 14910, capacity 860 TEU, built 1985, flag Singapore, manager ORIENT EXPRESS LINES SINGAPORE.