The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB), probing the capsizing of a boat carrying a delegation to the Shivaji memorial site on October 24, 2018, has concluded the accident that led to one death was a result of “human error”. MMB will submit the probe report to the government soon.
The private boat, MRM1, mainly carrying political workers to the site off the Mumbai coast, hit a rock near Prongs Reef, as the master [driver] did not follow the channel and took a shorter route, according to MMB officials. “We are finalising the report, but the investigation points at human error. The master of the boat went too close to the reef, which led to the accident. He should have taken the channel and avoided the route he took,” said a senior MMB official, who did not wish to be named.
Siddhesh Pawar, 35, a chartered account and political activist from the delegation who died in the accident, was wearing a life jacket, but got trapped in the cabin, said the official
Ruchit Sakharkar, the driver of the speedboat, was not available for a comment.
Another official, who is involved in the probe, said the master of the speedboat could have been under pressure owing to which he took a shorter route to the mid-sea memorial site. “The boat grazed the rock when the tide was receding. Had the tide been high, the accident would not have happened,” the official said.
As part of the probe, MMB officials visited the spot and recreated the incident to understand what breached the “integrity of the boat during low tide”. They also interviewed Sakharkar and a few other survivors to know the sequence of events.
The report pointed out the boat was overcrowded and did not have adequate life jackets.
First Published: Jan 11, 2019 14:23 IST
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