The collision of two commercial vessels, a Cypriot cargo ship and a Tunisian freighter, was caused by a series of human errors, with investigators pointing fingers to both sides.
Back in October, a Tunisian boat rammed into a Cyprus-flag container ship that was anchored several kilometres off the island Corsica.
A joined investigation with a team of experts from Cyprus, Tunisia, and France have just issued a report, blaming the watch officers on both vessels, saying one was talking on his phone while the other ignored radar alarms.
According to Youssef Ben Romdhane, Tunisia’s top sea transport official, the captain of the moving vessel was busy making phone calls.
“The captain of the Tunisian boat was busy, making private telephone calls. He was far from the radar screen that warns of danger. He was alone,” Romdhane told AFP.
But the official also pointed fingers to the Cypriot boat, saying it was unusual that a commercial vessel would throw anchor in a lane used by merchant ships.
A separate French investigation is still ongoing, with sources pointing to experts trying to assess the environmental impact and pollution from the accident.
The two ships were insured by the same company, according to foreign media, with an estimated total damages of at least 13.5 million euros. Cleaning coastal waters also had a price tag of about an extra 10 million euros according to some experts.