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Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

Liberia vessel Tragedy: Maritime appoints investigator

As recovery continues

The Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) says it has appointed Rishi Mehrotra, a certified maritime investigator, as an Investigating Officer in line with Liberian Maritime Regulation 9.258 (4) to conduct the investigation into the matter of the sunken vessel Niko Ivanko on 17 July 2021.

“This investigation is conducted with the objective of preventing similar marine incidents in the future and does not seek to determine liability,” LiMA Commissioner and Designated Authority Mr. Lenn Eugene Nagbe said in a communication dated 28 July 2021 titled “ Warrant Convening an Investigation into the matter of the Sunken Vessel Niko Ivanko on July 17, 2021.”

The announcement on Wednesday, 28 July of the certified maritime investigator by LiMA came after the institution informed the public last Thursday, 22 July that three bodies believed to be some of the missing persons from the local vessel NIKO IVANKA that had sunk were recovered.

Following the sinking of Niko Ivanka on 17 July 2021, LiMA authorities announced the launch of a search and rescue operation, and also indicated that they had rescued 11 persons, but the number rose to 12 after another person was reported rescued.

Mr. Nagbe said LiMA has the authority under Liberian and International Maritime Laws and Regulations and responsibility under SOLAS (regulation I/21 and XI – I/6, MARPOL (Article 12), as well as the International Maritime Organization (IMO’s) Code of International Standards and Recommended Practices for a Safety Investigation into marine casualties involving its flagged vessels.

In accordance with Liberia Maritime Regulations 9.258 (2) and 9.258 (3), Mr. Nagbe said it is the duty of all owners of Liberian vessels and/or persons appointed by them including, but not limited to, lawyers, insurance representatives and agents, and Liberian certificated seafarers to cooperate with Investigating Officers appointed by the Commissioner, in the investigation of marine incidents.

Mr. Nagbe indicated that this includes the Investigating Officers boarding and examination of vessels and their appurtenances, production of witnesses in their employ, and relevant books, papers, documents, and other records in their possession.

Last week, LiMA announced that an Incident Management Center (IMC) had been set up at the Monrovia Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination located on the Coast Guard Base, adding that the IMC consists of the members of the National Maritime SAR / Disaster Committee which were activated by LiMA Commissioner Eugene Nagbe, the National Search and Rescue Coordinator on July 20, 2021.

LiMA also informed the public that two numbers have been activated at the IMC for reporting purposes, which are 0777290158 and 0880753581.

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The LiMA release said the relevant government authorities have moved in to recover the bodies, adding that for the respect of the deceased and privacy for the affected families, their names are being withheld until the relevant government agencies contact the [bereaved families] shortly.

The release added that divers were dispatched to the location where the vessel sunk to assess its hull and further search for any and all missing persons while modalities are being worked out to salvage any materials from the vessel.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/two-more-bodies-recovered-from-sinking-vessel/

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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