The Mombetsu Coast Guard arrived on the Russian ship Amur at 9.46 am and arrested the third mate. It turned out that it was Pavel Dobriansky who was on duty at the time of the collision. He is suspected of mismanagement and manslaughter. He was escorted to a pre-trial detention center.
– In the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREGs-72) there is a rule No. 5. It says that in order to fully assess the situation and the danger of collision, each vessel must constantly conduct visual and auditory observation, as well as observation using all available means, says Vasily Gutsulyak, head of the Department of Maritime Law at the Russian University of Transport. – Now with regard to responsibility.
According to rule # 2, nothing can absolve neither the vessel, nor its owner, nor the captain, nor the crew from responsibility for the consequences that may occur from failure to comply with these rules. Both the captain and the crew members who are directly responsible for the collision are responsible.
In this case, the third mate. He is on watch for 4 hours every eight hours, from 8 am to 12 pm and from 8 pm to midnight. This is how the watches are distributed on the ship. Since he did not observe properly, he is subject to responsibility. He, as they say, was a direct executor.
I do not know how the Japanese court will interpret this provision, but I do not exclude that the captain of the ship may also be brought to justice. I suppose that more than enough material has been collected. The Japanese side has an evidentiary base, otherwise why the third mate had to be placed in a pre-trial detention center, he could have been on board the ship until the end of the proceedings. Apparently, in the near future he will be charged.
– According to the official representative of the Far Eastern Investigative Department for Transport of the Investigative Committee of Russia, the Japanese small ship went in the fog without signals.
– I do not exclude this. But our ship had to conduct visual observation, as well as observation with the help of all available technical means. The radar must work even in good visibility conditions. They should have seen a Japanese schooner. Therefore, it is not very correct to refer to the fact that it went without signals.
To date, I have not met with the fact that the responsibility for the collision, the blame for what happened, would be completely assigned to one ship. As a rule, there is such a redistribution: 80 to 20, 70 to 30, 50 to 50.
In what proportion everything will be determined now, it is difficult to say. If there were no human casualties, then it would have been about material compensation for damage, but here, as a result of the collision, the chief engineer and two deck sailors were killed. And criminal legislation is already a different diocese. Now they will sort it out, maybe some extenuating circumstances will be adopted.
The President of the Far Eastern Association of Sea Captains Pyotr Osichansky, in turn, recalls that in conditions of heavy fog, many different rules must be observed.
– It is necessary to conduct surveillance by all means, to put a lookout on the vessel’s tank (superstructure in the bow of the deck. – Auth.) It is obligatory to keep a radar plot on the map.
– The collision occurred 23 kilometers from the coast. A boat like the schooner Hokko-maru-8 can be that far from the coastline?
– 23 kilometers is 12-15 miles, which is not a lot for such fishermen. The schooner could be carried by the current, they could get carried away by fishing if the crab went.
– The Japanese schooner has a displacement of only 9.7 tons. Our sailors might not have noticed her on the radar screen?
– “Amur” is also not such a big ship. I think if there was no stormy weather, there was peace and blessing, the locator would have captured any vessel, even if it was a boat.
On the radar, you can determine the parameters of the ship’s movement, where it was going, at what speed, or if it was standing at all. But this requires special observation. One must be able to correctly use the radar and do it constantly during foggy weather. In this case, it will be necessary to look whether the elements of movement were counted on the Amur in order to determine the danger of a collision. If the error of the crew is confirmed, it will be proved that they were negligent, negligent, then I do not envy either the one who was on watch or the captain of the Amur. Three people died, all sorts of consequences are possible here.
It is reported that the ship owner, the Sakhalin fishing company Amurskoye, has hired the arrested assistant captain’s lawyer. He is due to arrive from Sapporo to Mombetsu on Tuesday.
Pyotr Osichansky recalls that Japanese legislation is rather harsh.
– There was a case when a Japanese motorist knocked and killed a Russian sailor who was riding a bicycle. Our sailors often rented bicycles so as not to walk around the city on foot. The Japanese themselves condemned their driver for this collision. A very decent amount of compensation was awarded to the family of the deceased, in my opinion, about 500 million yen.