Image from project regarding Casualty Investigation
Unlike in Survey assignments which deal primarily with financial aspects of loss, objective of casualty investigation is to converge on cause by examining holistically actions of all related agencies, affix responsibility and initiate measures with recommendations towards prevention of similar incidents; and to work laterally along with port state (with quasi-judicial powers) and IMO, further to deal with criminal violations (eg. eco damage – Oil Pollution).
A fully laden tanker with Naphtha while transiting Mumbai Port approach channel during low tide to pick up pilot, ran aground, suffering major hull damage accompanied by cargo spillage. Subsequently on high tide re-floated on her own power. While proceeding to safe anchorage as per JNPT and Mumbai Port Trust directive, Vessel sank. It involved dealing with oil spillage, wreck removal, salvage of Vessel, Salvage of cargo, fire risk, etc.
Examined Master and Crew; evaluated response of various agencies i.e. Owners, Charterers, Local Agents, Port, Coast Guard, Indian Navy and Bankers. Ascertained various aspects of causation. It was found that the certificates of Deck and Engine Officers were fraudulent and modus operandi exposed. Accordingly recommended prosecution under criminal proceedings.