A captain and first officer were killed last week in a shooting onboard the Maltese-flagged chemical tanker Ayane while at anchor off the coast of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentine authorities have arrested the third officer, Carlos Lima, 52, after he reported and allegedly admitted that he had murdered the two men.
The murder of captain Alejandro Daniel García aged 39 and first officer Juan Alfonso Pegasano aged 48 took place around 23.30 hrs local time on Friday. The Argentine Naval Prefecture boarded the ship at around 1.30 hrs on Saturday and arrested Lima. The Coast Guard officers were unable to find the gun, which was, presumably, thrown overboard. A Coast Guard spokesman said that it is not entirely clear how the events happened, “since it is believed that the attacker could have suffered a psychotic breakdown.”
The tanker, owned by Turkey’s Besiktas Likid Tasimacilik and managed by Buenos Aires-based Bahia Grande, had 21 Argentine crewmwmbers on board. The rest of the crew managed to isolate themselves until the Coast Guard came aboard and took Lima into custody.
The federal court of La Plata, in charge of the investigation, is looking to unravel not only the reasons that led to the death of the two seafarers but also how the shooter got a weapon aboard the ship. Local media reported that the shooting occurred because Lima had been informed that he would be disembarked due to misconduct as soon as the ship made landfall. He also tried to shoot the ship’s second officer, who was reportedly saved by the cabin door.
Lima, also labeled as EL Loco (the crazy one) by the local media, is a former Buenos Aires police officer who was discharged in 2007 for undisclosed reasons. In 2008, he reportedly shot his neighbour and was jailed until 2013 before he started working on merchant ships.