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‘Death ship’ findings delayed

The Australian coronial findings into suspected murders onboard the so-called “death ship” Sage Sagittarius have been delayed.

An inquest had investigated the deaths of two seaman who died on the Japanese coal carrier in August and September 2012. A third man died a month later in Japanese waters.

Head chef Cesar Llanto vanished overboard off Cairns on August 30. A fortnight later the ship’s chief engineer Hector Collado fell to his death in suspicious circumstances as the ship entered Newcastle.

A Japanese superintendent died a month later while onboard the ship, though as this incident did not happen in Australian waters it did no

The findings in Australia were due to be revealed today, however they have now been delayed with no date fixed as yet.

During the lengthy hearings the ship’s captain, Venancio Salas, was repeatedly linked with murdering his two crewmates. He was also revealed to have beaten up some of his crew.

In his closing remarks made to the inquest late last year, counsel Philip Strickland said “detailed evidence suggests foul play”, particularly given the “deep conflict aboard”.

“The deaths occurred in intense and building conflict,” he said.

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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