Salcete Magistrate Johnson Fernandes has recommended that the Master of the Ship Costa Fortuna be thoroughly interrogated in connection with the death of Randall Fernandes, the youth from Navelim who was found hanging in his cabin on the said vessel.
Randall who was working on the ship reportedly committed suicide in his cabin and death was due to hanging has been confirmed by the second autopsy conducted by a team of doctors at Goa Medical College, which is consistent with the first autopsy report.
However, Johnson has reportedly stated that the circumstances leading to the suicide also needs to be investigated for which interrogation of the Master of the Ship is required and recommended that the Master of the Ship be summoned to India with all relevant documents. He has also suggested that if the Master of the Ship cannot come to Goa then the interrogation should be done through the Indian embassy.
The report also notes that various details generally necessary in a suicide case like the size of the cabin, its height, the distance to the floor from the hanging body and even the material used to commit the suicide are not known.
Besides, he also noted that no panchanama report is found as is required to be drawn by the Master of the Ship who is bestowed with magisterial powers in such cases nor have any corroborative statements recorded.
While pointing out that the delay in discovering the body is not explained, the Magistrate has asked for verification of entries in the shop log book including the first SOS call made to the immediate next port call and the company headquarters with regards to the incident.
The magisterial probe was conducted following a petition by the parents of the dead youth to Chief Minister Digambar Kamat as they did not accept the theory that their son committed suicide.