The inquiry by India's Director General of Shipping found the MV Khalijia-3 was mainly responsible for the collision with the MSC Chitra off the Mumbai coast last month.
The Aug. 7 collision resulted in over 800 metric tons of oil leaking from the Chitra and more than 200 containers being knocked off it, which blocked the channel into the ports of Jawaharlal Nehru and Mumbai for five days.
The inquiry backed up the scathing claim by Mediterranean Shipping Co.'s headquarters in Geneva that the Khalijia-3 was at fault in the collision.
The inquiry, which was reported by Mumbai's NDTV, found that the Khalijia-3 entered the navigation channel at the wrong time and at the wrong angle. It was meant to enter the channel at a parallel angle. Instead it was perpendicular to the channel. As a result the Khalijia-3 occupied almost the entire length of the channel.
The inquiry also found that the Khalijia-3 had also cast off two tug boats provided by the Mumbai Port Trust to stabilize the ship.
It said that the captain of Khalijia-3 contacted the captain of MSC Chitra only two minutes before the accident occurred.
The Khaljia-3 had also been involved in an earlier accident in which tugs were provided to aid the ship after the bottom of the ship was damaged by a dragging anchor.
The inquiry report was also critical of the Mumbai Port Trust's Vehicle Traffic Monitoring System (VTMS), a radar system that was supposed to track the movement of ships in its waters.
The inquiry found that one out of the two radars was not working and no one was near the screen monitoring the ship movements. The VTMS staff was ignorant about the approaching ships.
The state government has fined the MSC Chitra over $640,000 for polluting the coast after the collision, but these findings could well pave the way for claims against the Khalijia-3.
-- Contact Peter T. Leach at firstname.lastname@example.org.