‘The wellboat had defects when it left the shipyard’

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The environmental organization Greenpeace claims to have found documentation showing a number of deficiencies in ‘Seikongen’, which may have contributed to its sinking at the village of Chonchi, just south of Castro on Isla de Chiloé in southern Chile.

According to Chilean newspaper Aqua, ‘Seikongen’ was built in Hong Kong and was checked by inspectors from Chinese maritime authorities on its way back to Chile.

The inspection revealed deficiencies in three categories; fire outages, electrical issues and navigation aspects.

PHOTO: Greenpeace

However, the newly built wellboat was allowed to continue its trip back to Chile.

Was withdrawn from service in early october
‘Seikongen’ arrived at Puerto Montt at September 7th. A week later, the ship started its first commercial job.

It wasn’t long before the first problems occurred.

Earlier this month, the boat was taken out of service due to what looked like a design fault that prevented normal and safe navigation and operation, according to Greenpeace.

Personnel from the shipyard in Hong Kong were also contacted.

Demand answers
“There are a number of issues that need to be clarified, for example, did the Chilean maritime authorities know about the faults that were revealed, and were they effectively resolved so that the ship was able to continue to operate under adequate safety standards,” said Estefanía González, coordinator of Oceans Greenpeace.

González was also critical of the preparedness for an emergency, and pointed out that 200 tonnes of salmon are still inside the wellboat, although sanitary regulations state that the fish should be removed within 48 hours after the accident occurred.

On Tuesday, Chile’s Directorate of Fisheries announced that they will pursue legal action against Camanchaca for breach of sanitary regulations.

The boat has been under contract to Camanchaca, but SalmonBusiness has been unable to reach the management of Camanchaca.

The owner of the boat, CPT Empresas Maritimas, wrote last week in an email to SalmonBusiness: “We appreciate your mail and regretably we are not able to reply to your questions since there is an ongoing investigation.”