Italian shipowner arrested over hit and run trawler incident off Sicily

The Italian shipowner Raffaele Brullo, head and founder of the Augusta Due shipping company, has been placed under house arrest by the Coast Guard of Palermo, accused of procedural fraud in the case of the fishing boat Nuova Iside which sank off the coast of Sicily on May 12 last year.

The oil and chemical tanker Vulcanello M is accused by prosecutors of colliding with the fishing boat, causing the death of the three workers aboard. The VDR tracking system was decisive in finding out that the Augusta Due tanker might be responsible for the accident.

Two members of the crew which were onboard the Vulcanello M, the master and the third officer who was on the bridge that night, have also been also arrested. A warrant for a fourth seafarer living in Romania has been raised.

The prosecutors state that the owner of Augusta Due a few days after the accident occurred ordered the hull of the vessel to be repainted to hide any possible sign of the collision. Brullo and the crewmembers onboard the Vulcanello M say they are innocent.

Nicola Capuzzo

Nicola is a highly qualified journalist focused on transport economics, logistics and shipping with broad experience in both online and printed media. Specialties: shipping, ship finance, banking, commodities and port economics. He regularly interviews Europe's top shipowner executives for Maritime CEO magazine.
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