An Australian coroner’s court today began the inquest into the suspicious deaths of two seafarers on board the Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Sage Sagittarius in 2012.
The New South Wales Coroner is investigating two of three deaths on board the Japanese-owned vessel in April and May, 2012. A third death was outside Australian waters and jurisdiction.
Sage Sagittarius was diverted to Port Kembla and boarded by police in May 2012 after the chief cook disappeared overboard, presumed dead, in the Coral Sea north of Queensland on 30 April 2012.
Two weeks later the chief engineer was found dead after an 11 m fall down the ship’s ladder as the vessel was coming into Newcastle to load coal.
The court heard that his death was suspicious because of a head injury unrelated to the fall.
A third man, a company safety superintendent, was crushed to death by a conveyor belt while the vessel was docked in Japan one month later.
The inquest into the deaths of the two Philippine seafarers Hector Collado, 57, chief engineer and Cesar Llanto, 42, chief cook will resume tomorrow (Friday) before Deputy State Coroner Magistrate Freund.