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Ship Captain Jailed, Six Died in 2013 Collision

By MarEx 2014-07-07 15:42:00

The captain of a Chinese cargo ship has been sentenced to 16 months in jail after his vessel collided with another cargo ship in heavy fog last year.

The Wang Da 6 rammed into the Hai Bang Da 199 in April 2013. While all 14 crewmen on the Wang Da 6 were rescued, six of the other vessel's 11 crewmembers drowned.

A Hong Kong court found that the accused master had failed to sound a fog signal or adequately reduce his speed before the crash. He admitted to one count of endangering others' safety at sea.

According to Seatrade Global, two experts testified that he was in breach of international regulations, making two fatal errors. Not only was the captain indecisive in taking action to avoid a collision, he had even attempted to steer to port minutes before the collision, in clear contravention of regulations to steer to starboard to prevent head-on collisions.

The judge also ruled that fog was not a justifying factor as the vessel was equipped with radar.

Captain Ruan has been in custody for 14 months since the incident, and will be required to serve the remainder of the sentence.