Louis Cruise Lines says that Sea Diamond’s master and the ship’s owners were barred from giving evidence before the board investigating the the vessel’s contact with a wrongly-charted reef and subsequent sinking with the loss of two lives.
In an announcement the cruise lines says: “With regards to the report drafted by the “Investigating Board of Maritime Casualties” (“IBMC”) which is controlled by the Ministry of Mercantile Marine on the Sea Diamond accident and subsequent sinking, the Ship Owners and Ship Managers of the vessel would like to point out that its context is hardly surprising since it is exactly what they were “warned” about in advance by various authorities. The largely expected materialization of the aforementioned warning became evident when for the first time in the history of such cases the lawyers of the Master and the Ship Owners were prohibited from being present during the relevant hearings.
“The complete lack of evidence backing the IBMC report and the fact that it is based on speculations and unfounded conclusions make it clear that this is yet another inelegant attempt by the relevant authorities to refute their responsibilities in relation to the erroneous mapping of the area of the accident, which constitutes the sole cause of the accident and the subsequent sinking of the vessel. It should furthermore be reminded that the excellent condition of the vessel had also been certified by the competent authority of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine.
“The Ship Owners and Ship Managers of MV Sea Diamond have absolutely no doubt that the truth will shine in court, which is exactly what happened in similar cases of accidents caused by erroneous mappings in Europe and the United States and where the Ship Owners and the Masters were cleared and vindicated.“