Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill who holds responsibility for the maritime and transport sectors has denied that he interrogated the lone survivor of the Noble House Seafood fishing vessel tragedy.
Mr. Edghill admitted that he did meet with the survivor Vincent Dazzel on Wednesday at this office, but he said the meeting was one to gather information as decisions have to be made about calling off the searches. He said it was no interrogation exercise.
“We want to make sure we cover all of our bases in terms of search and rescue and that was the only thing I discussed with the man yesterday, covering all the bases and covering all the ground and whether he saw anything else”, the Minister explained.
In an interview with News Source, the survivor Vincent Dazzel recounted his ordeal at sea and said that during a meeting with Minister Edghill he was repeatedly told by the Minister to tell the truth as he recounted what took place.
He said an allegation was even put to him that he did not show the search team where the boat went down, only for the allegation to be withdrawn completely when the Minister realized that the man was never taken back out to sea by the search teams.
Minister Edghill admitted that the report that the man was taken back out to sea and did not want to offer assistance was false. But he said there are still families in mourning and answers need to be provided.
“I summoned the MARAD people in the presence of the man and they could not keep their story because the man was not taken back out”, he said.
The Minister also held meetings with the Home Affairs Minister and teams from the Maritime Department and the Coast Guard about the search efforts and the possibility of the searches being called off after two weeks.
The Minister has already expressed concern about the Noble House Seafood company taking more than 24hrs before alerting the relevant authorities about the tragedy. He said he is still not satisfied with how the company has been dealing with the situation.
A Board of Inquiry is currently probing the tragedy at sea.