Panama Maritime Authority has officially joined the investigation into the
grounding of the MV Wakashio in Mauritius, revealing new details about the
to the AMP and based on information that is available, the ship made a course
change on July 25 prompted by a crew member’s birthday that would take the
vessel within 5 miles of Mauritius, close enough to pick up cell phone and
MV Wakashio grounded off Mauritius’ Pointe d’Esny at approximately 1925 LT,
about an hour and a half after the last position was recorded in the ship’s
ECDIS, the AMP said.
Satellite AIS ship tracking showed the
vessel adjusted course on July 21 at 0200
AIS ship tracking from the Wakashio’s fateful voyage, previously reported in
the media, showed the vessel adjusted course on July 21 at 0200, putting the
vessel on a crash with the island.
Captain, Chief Engineer and Chief Officer were all on the bridge when the
approach occurred, according to the AMP.
by the Mauritian coast guard to contact the vessel were unsuccessful until
after the grounding.
Captain and Chief Officer have been arrested and charged with “endangering safe
navigation” under the country’s Piracy and Maritime Violence Act and remain in
custody in Mauritius.
AMP has also revealed the chart displayed on the Wakashio’s ECDIS was the wrong
chart and wrong scale..
Causes for the grounding
lack of supervision and monitoring of the navigation equipment, the distraction
generated when the officer of the watch totally loses the course of the
navigation and an ‘excess of confidence’ during the watch, are indicated among
the causes that could cause the grounding and sinking Partial vessel on a coral
reef off Mauritius,” the statement added.
AMP says it is now awaiting the results of interviews with the Wakashio’s
Captain and Chief Officer. It has also requested access to the ship’s VDR and
other “essential ship navigation documents”.
It is not clear if the Wakashio’s crew was
caught up in the crew change crisis.