The Calangute police have registered an offence of negligence against the captain and vessel operator of the barge MV Noor IV that sank in the deep seas about six nautical miles off the Panaji coast late Sunday night.
One crew member, Gauranga Mondal, a native of Kolkata who had gone missing when the 25-year-old, 1,100-tonne barge sank, is yet to be traced.
It may be recalled that the incident occurred around 11 pm on Sunday, when MV Noor IV which had carried its cargo of iron ore fines from the Cotombi loading point in Quepem taluka, was tied alongside another loaded barge, Maitriyani, on the port side of a Russian bulk carrier DD Vigor.
“We have registered a case of negligence against the captain of the vessel, Abdul Ahmed Gasi, and vessel operator Swapan Sardar,” said PI Manjunath Dessai.
Sources said that the Captain of Ports is investigating whether the owners of the barge had followed safety measures. “Preliminary investigation has shown that the vessel was old and yet was overloaded without taking adequate safety measures,” added sources.