THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A youth from Kochi working in an international ship of a Hong Kong based firm was reported missing since Thursday while the ship was in African seas. The family of the youth has raised suspicions over the incident and sought the Centre’s intervention. Aswin Kumar, 24, hailing from Kakkanad in Kochi, who was working as trainee electrical officer on board LPG tanker MV Shahrastani, was reported missing. The shipping firm informed the family on March 30 that Aswin was missing since 8 pm on March 29 after he went to the engine control room to read manuals.
Raising suspicions, Aswin’s father K.S. Harikumar said in a petition to the Centre that MV Shahrastani was an ‘Unmanned Machinery Space’ (UMS) classified ship. Hence, after the day operation the engine room would be unmanned and in Wheelhouse control, unless there are emergencies or inspections. He also said that Aswin was in touch with the family on social media messaging apps till Wednesday 8 pm.
“We suspect foul play about our son going missing and the date and time of missing mentioned in the company letter,” said Harikumar. He sought the original voyage data recorder of the vessel be obtained immediately. Based on Harikumar’s petition, the Infopark police registered a missing case on Saturday. According to his relatives, Aswin was placed on board the vessel on March 6 from Shenzhen in China. The vessel was off Madagascar coast while at the time he was reported missing. The shipping company had informed that the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres of Australia, Mauritius and La Reunion island.