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‘Death ship’ captain tried to quash dissent, inquest hears

The Sydney inquest into the mysterious series of deaths onboard the Japanese bulker Sage Sagittarius in 2012 has heard allegations that the then master of the ship bullied crewmembers to hush up the scandal.

Captain Venancio Salas, who was in charge of the vessel, dubbed the ‘death ship’ in local media, at the time of the three deaths in six weeks, wrote “damning” reviews of crewmembers he felt were behind a plot to report the ship to Australian authorities.

The inquest head last year how Salas was prone to drinking, gun-toting and bullying others onboard.

On the evaluation forms for at least four crewmembers, Salas wrote that they put the company, captain and ship itself at risk and that they should not be rehired by the company.

The inquest continues.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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