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Fatal sea accident off La Digue in August: Marine Accident Investigation Board completes investigation


The Marine Accident Investigation Board (MAIB) has completed its final report following the incident and loss of lives on fishing vessel Faith, which occurred on the evening of August 13, 2016.

The investigation was initiated by the MAIB on August 14, 2016.

The report has been submitted to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan.

Commenting on the incident, Minister Morgan said: “As I receive this report, I am reminded just how tragic this incident was to not only the families of those who died but to the entire Seychellois nation as well. Our main motivation is to learn from this occurrence and to ensure that we apply the recommendations that this report has, so as to ensure that such an event is averted in the future. The sea is often unforgiving and our history documents very well events of vessels sinking or going missing. With the report in hand I will now sit down with respective agencies to review and to ensure that we act on the key recommendations that the MAIB has made. We owe it to the families and to those who survived and all Seychellois to ensure that more is done to avert such tragedies in the future,” said Minister Morgan.

The report having been formally handed over to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport will be closely reviewed in consultation with the Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration and the Seychelles Police.

It is to be recalled that in the incident, which occurred halfway between Praslin and La Digue, three persons – two women and a man – lost their lives.


The boat involved, ‘Faith’ – a converted Mini Mahé with a 15 horse power engine and added cabin – had left La Digue and was on its way to Praslin with six persons on board. They had spent the day at the island’s feast.

According to information gathered by our reporter on La Digue on that day and later confirmed by police spokesman Jean Toussaint, the boat capsized in the Ros Kannal area after a lady – Cynthia César – had fallen over board and the other occupants all moved on one side to try and retrieve her.

After the accident, which occurred at about 7pm, the boat’s skipper and owner, Teddy Stravens, managed to swim to the ‘Mary Anne’, a yacht which was then moored off La Digue. The crew took him back to the accident area and after they could find neither sign of his boat nor of any passengers, they brought him back to the island.

The alert had then been given and an intensive nearly 15-hour coordinated search followed. It was conducted by the Seychelles Coast Guard, Air Force, Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA) and Marine Police with the help of local aviation company Zil Air, Australian navy vessel HMS Perth and various vessels from Praslin and La Digue. These included the smallest vessel of the ‘Cat Coco’which is based on La Digue and Praslin’s ‘Cat Rose’.

After the night search proved unsuccessful, rescue operations resumed early the following morning. By mid day, two persons – Aubrey Jacqueline and six-year-old Rio Chang Tave – were pulled alive from the relatively rough seas. Three other persons were unfortunately found dead. They were identified as Cynthia and Helena César, and Bernard Camille aged 65 years old.


The police force in the Seychelles is a national body which falls under the control of the National Commissioner of Police, who is appointed by the President subject to the approval of the National Assembly....


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