Thekkady tragedy: Chief inspector of boats arrested

Last Updated: Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 22:09

Thekkady: Kerala`s chief inspector of
Boats, M Mathews, was today arrested for issuing `worthiness`
certificate without following due procedures to the boat
which capsized in Thekkady lake in which 45 tourists were

IG R Sreelekha told media that the official had issued the
certificate to the KTDC`s boat Jalakanyaka, which sank in the
Thekkady lake on September 30, without following the
government guidelines and norms.

Ashokan, a gate keeper at the boarding point for the
cruise, was also arrested today for allowing passengers to
board the boat without tickets, thereby exceeding its

Two days ago, the steersman of the boat Victor Samuel and
sub-crew Anish were arrested and charged with culpable
homicide not amounting to murder.

Mathews was arrested at Thekkady on instructions from
Sreelekha, who had visited the spot to review the progress of
the investigation.

Mathews was questioned by the Crime Branch team
investigating the mishap. It was found from the probe that the
official gave permission for the boat to be launched without
obtaining the mandatory `Worthiness Certificate` from the
Indian Registrar of Shipping, Sreelekha said.

It was also found that he knew that there was small
rightward slant to the boat, she said this fact was overlooked
in issuing the certificate for the boat.

An expert from the Department of Shipping Technology of
Cochin University, who examined the boat yesterday, had said
the vessel had a rightward tilt of 2.9 degrees, which was a
manufacturing defect.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 22:09

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