Decision ID: 001559

In May 2004 the 1971 Fund Administrative Council considered whether the 1971 Fund should pursue recourse action against the Instituto Nacional de Canalizaciones (INC), a government agency responsible for the maintenance of the Maracaibo channel, in the light of the Director’s examination of documentation made available at the time of the criminal proceedings and subsequently by INC. The Council noted that in the Director’s view the 1971 Fund would have to prove, not only that there had been deficiencies in the channel, but also that these deficiencies had caused or contributed to the grounding of the Nissos Amorgos. It was noted that the two experts appointed by the 1971 Fund did not agree on this point, one concluding that the evidence available did not show that the grounding was caused, either in whole or in part, by the condition of the channel, whereas the other considered that, on the balance of probabilities, the vessel had grounded as a result of losing control having entered shallow ground in the channel. The Council noted that Director had concluded that it was unlikely that a recourse action by the Fund against INC would succeed and that he had therefore proposed that the Fund should not pursue such an action. In summing up the discussion the Chairman stated that it was important that there should be a wide consensus for a decision not to take recourse action against INC and that, since a slight majority of those delegations that had expressed a view had been in favour of postponing a decision, and even some of those supporting the Director’s proposal were very hesitant, such consensus did not exist. The Administrative Council decided that the 1971 Fund should postpone taking a position on whether or not to take recourse action against INC.

Date: 30.04.2004
Category: Legal actions
Subject: Investigations into the cause of incidents