Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Inquest Told of Threat Fears after Ship Deaths; Shipping Line Officials and AFP Concerned about Events on Carrier

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Inquest Told of Threat Fears after Ship Deaths; Shipping Line Officials and AFP Concerned about Events on Carrier

Article excerpt

OWEN JACQUES

APN NEWSDESK

IN THE days after an experienced cook disappeared overboard from a giant coal carrying ship off the Queensland coastline, police considered it a potential murder investi- gation. They were not the only ones.

A coronial inquest into how two Filipino sailors died aboard the Sage Sagittarius or "death ship" returned on Monday. The suspected death of chief cook Cesar Llanto on August 30 rang alarm bells for the Australian Federal Police and the ship's owners.

The inquest heard an executive with owners NYK Line flagged to a colleague by email that "one crew of the vessel has been missed" from the Sagittarius, which has previously visited ports in Gladstone and Abbot Point. NYK Australia's Shigehiko Ochiai told fellow executive Jason Glynn to take action because he feared there could be a threat on board.

"NYK Tokyo has organised crisis management to fix this incident because there is a few possibility of murder," Mr Ochiai wrote. …

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