‘Strong wind’ led to Chilika boat mishap, says probe report

Bhubaneswar: Ruling out any technical glitches, the preliminary investigation report has maintained that ‘strong wind’ led to the boat capsize in Chilika which had left at least six persons dead on June 16.

The investigation report, which was submitted by the Directorate of Ports & Inland Water Transport to Odisha government today, revealed that prima facie it appears that the boat capsized under the impact of strong wind, informed Commerce and Transport Department Secretary, G. Srinivas.

“Following the tragedy, the government had asked the Directorate of Ports and Inland Water Transport to conduct an inquiry by visiting the spot. Today, we have received the report in which it has been stated that the mishap occurred due to heavy winds. We are reviewing the findings of the report so as to ensure what corrective measures can be taken to prevent such mishaps,” said Srinivas.

Srinivas further informed that there were adequate life saving equipment including life jackets and lifebuoys in the ill-fated boat. However, such equipment was not used.

“Life saving equipment was provided for the first time by the Khurda district administration and 20 life jackets were also provided to the owner against the seating capacity of 15 persons in the boat. We will now work to ensure that awareness is created among tourists as well as others to use such equipment,” Srinivas added.

Earlier, the investigation team of Inland Water Transport Directorate had ruled out any ‘technical glitch’ behind the mishap after conducting an on-the-spot inspection.