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Court Of Inquiry Into The Sinking Of Sir Gaëtan

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It was not planned that the tug should have gone home that night, according to a sailor

The tug Sir Gaëtan should have spent the night of August 31, 2020 to September 1, 2020 in the waters of Pte d’Esny after having recovered the barge Ami Constant at the site of the sinking of the MV Wakashio. This was stated by one of the surviving sailors who was part of the crew of the Sir Gaëtan, Antonio L’Aiguille, during his testimony before the court of inquiry on the sinking of Sir Gaëtan, this Tuesday, July 14.  Antonio L’Ailguille, assistant marine engineer, underlined that it was planned that the tug would resume its route the next day. He said he was shocked to see that the tug was leaving the bay of Mahébourg for the Port-Louis harbor the evening of the tragedy with the Barge.

Antonio L’Aiguille also added that the last time he saw Captain Moswadeck Bheenick, he was on board a canoe. The captain asked him to throw a knife at him to untie the canoe from the tug. However, the knife fell into the water as the tug was dragging the dinghy to the bottom.

Three other sailors, Philippe Montagne Longue, Elvis Alain Eléonore and Yan Sun Fong, “senior technician, Tug service” of the Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA), testified in court. They all confirmed that the sea was rough that evening with swells of three meters.

Another significant fact is that the general manager of the MPA, Shekhar Suntah, testified that the tug Sir Gaëtan was insured. This was despite the fact that it did not have a license to operate.

He submitted documents to this effect and a complete report by the firm Veritas concerning the classification of the tug Sir Gaëtan. As a reminder, the tug was not fit to sail.

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