dimanche 16 septembre 2012
The "Ever Smile" was suspected to have run into a fishing boat on Sep 3, 2012, short after leaving Colombo, in poor weather conditions, throwing one man over board. Two fishermen who survived the mishap had used flashlights in a bid to search for the third man who fell over board but having failed had returned to the shore and informed the rest of them.
Fishers later set out in different boats and searched the sea for several hours without any luck. The current was strong at that time and the victim may have been carried by the current into deeper waters. They later informed the police and the ITF about the incident.
The body of the fisherman was washed ashore on the Chilaw Beach five days after the incident. The autopsy revealed that the fisherman had died due to drowning. Maritime movements at the time of the incident pointed out that the container vessel was the only one in the vicinity. Apart from that there was no other evidence except for some green paint mark on the fishing craft believed to be from the container ship.
The master of the "Ever Smile" was accused to have failed to maintain maritime regulations since he did not report the incident after berthing at the Colombo Port. After the mishap the ship’s crew had not fired flares to seek help in looking for survivors but entered the Colombo Port around 5.30 a.m where it was berthed until 9.30 p.m. before it left bound for Kaoshiung.
The ITF offices in London and Taiwan have been alerted about the matter, but it was too early to confirm that it was in fact the "Ever Smile" that was involved in the incident until more investigations were conducted. Evergreen in Colombo said that the involvement of the vessel in the incident should be firmly ruled out because the Wattala coast was never on the ship’s sailing route. The vessel sails from the west and enters the Colombo Port from the south of the country passing Panadura, Moratuwa, Dehiwala, Wellawatte, Bambalapitiya, Kollupitiya and Galle Face before reaching Colombo harbour. The area of Wattala or even Negombo further up was nowhere in the frame. Maritime traffic on the Wattala-Negombo sea sector involved mainly small vessels heading for Indian Ports and the "Ever Smile".
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