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Gdańsk. Charges against the shipowner of Galar Gdański I. The boat capsized and four people died

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A charge against the owner of a boat that capsized in the waters of the Kashubian Canal in October 2022. According to the prosecutor’s office, he contributed to intentionally causing a disaster in water traffic. Four people died, including a heavily pregnant woman.

Grażyna Wawryniuk, spokeswoman for the District Prosecutor’s Office in Gdańsk, said that based on the evidence collected during the investigation, it was established that the president of the foundation that was the shipowner of the Galar Gdański I yacht did not fulfill the obligations arising from being a shipowner. – Among other things, he made an incorrect decision to install an engine control system on the yacht that did not include a tachometer that would indicate the actual engine speed. Therefore, it was not possible to assess the vessel’s swimming speed and the engine load. Therefore, the person performing the maneuvers did not know the full operational capabilities of the unit, enabling rational maneuver decisions to be made, she said.

The shipowner was charged; previously, the helmsman was charged

As determined, the shipowner did not keep service records for the unit and did not record the operating hours of the motor drive. He did not comply with the inspection intervals resulting from the number of hours worked, and the unit was operated with a constantly active alarm.

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Read also: “My boatswain jumped into the water and saved a barely conscious woman”

– On the yacht, the function of the first helmsman was entrusted to a person who did not have the required motorboat helmsman qualifications, radio licenses, skills and experience required for commercial cruises. Moreover, the shipowner did not provide adequate training for the vessel operators. In this way, he led to the use of the yacht in a condition unsuitable for safe navigation in the port area and the provision of any tourist services combined with the transport of people, and finally, he intentionally contributed to causing a disaster in water traffic on October 8, 2022 – said Wawryniuk.

Capsized boatjunior brigadier Jakub Korzeniowski Municipal Headquarters of the State Fire Service in Gdańsk

She added that the prosecutor charged the shipowner with committing a crime under Art. 173 par. 1 and 3 of the Penal Code, i.e. intentionally contributing to a disaster in water traffic. – The suspect did not admit to the crime he was accused of and refused to provide explanations. The crime charged against him is punishable by imprisonment from two to 12 years, explained Wawryniuk. – At an earlier stage of the investigation charge of committing a crime under Article 173, paragraph 1 and 3 of the Penal Code presented to the person who served as the first helmsman of the Galar Gdański I yacht, she added.

14 people fell into the water, four died

On October 8, 2022, Galar Gdańsk I capsized in the Kashubian Canal, 12 passengers and two crew members fell into the water. Four people died, including a woman in an advanced stage of pregnancy, whose child could not be saved either. Galars are wooden, flat-bottomed rafting boats that sailed on the Motława River 300 years ago, carrying, among others, salt, flour and cereals. At that time they were 18 meters long and eight meters wide. Galary Gdańskie are smaller, approximately nine meters long and three meters wide. 12 passengers and two crew members can board.

Main photo source: junior brigadier Jakub Korzeniowski Municipal Headquarters of the State Fire Service in Gdańsk

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