Maintenance neglect was a major contributory factor
in the sinking of Albion Two,
which went down with the loss of all 25 hands two years ago today,
according to a preliminary report into the incident.
The document, which implicitly lays blame for the tragedy
with single shipowning company Oinousse Navigation fo Cyprus,
was produced by surveyors as part of proceedings
before the Antwerp commercial court.
It dismissed claims by Piraeus-based managing company
Doctor Lemos Shipping Corp
that the sinking was attributable to exceptional weather
met by the ship some 40 miles west of Ushant.
"The weather and sea condtions... should not be considered
exceptional during that winter month at the exit/entrance
of the English Channel," it argues.
"Albion Two was affected by very serious corrosion problems,
whereas the last owners restricted ship's maintenance
to the strict minimums;
minimum steel renewal based on a minimum of measurements
of the important ship's structures."
"A staunch and strong seagoing ship could easily have faced
the southwest storm"
According to the report, everything indicates
a catastrophic and final collapse of the ship's structures.
The vessel sunk in seconds,
before she even had a chance to put out a may-day message.
The International Transport Workers' Federation
is supporting 14 of the victim's families
in legal action to secure compensation.
So far the families have received no compensation
from either Oinousse Navigation of P+I insured Sphere Drake.
ITF legal officer Deirdre Fitzpatrick commented:
"This report confirms our own findings on the cause of the loss."