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Wakashio claims row escalates

Yesterday marked the second anniversary of the grounding of the Wakashio bulk carrier off Mauritius, the most high profile shipping casualty of the decade so far. Two years on, legal cases continue to mount.

A coalition of around 1,700 citizens living around where the giant vessel broke up are filing a case to the Supreme Court in Mauritius demanding the Japanese owner of the newcastlemax pay more in damages than the earlier agreed sum of $16.8m.

Latest data shows 2,321 local claims out of around 5,000 filed have been processed.

Preliminary findings of the Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) on the accident, which saw more than 1,000 tons of bunker fuel wash ashore when the ship broke in two, show a long list of errors. The captain hove to shore so his crew could get a wifi signal. Investigators also believe the ship did not have the right chart onboard. Moreover, the wrong chart was used and with the wrong scale as well.

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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