The tragic death of Panama Maritime University cadet Dayra Woods is no longer confined to Mexican and Panamanian news media.
A new article with more details and photographs has appeared on the New Zealand Internet site: http://www.scoop.co.nz
It suggests that the owners of the tanker El Valencia, aboard which the cadet died, have tried to change the registry of the vessel since the tragedy occurred.
While the lengthy article reprints much information already published by The Bulletin, it provides some new names of individuals allegedly connected to the mysterious ship. The following excerpts are taken from the article:
“ITF Calls for Full Cadet Death Investigation
The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) is calling for the Panamanian and Mexican authorities to reveal the results of their investigations into the death of the young engineering cadet Dayra Wood Pino (age 22) aboard the Panamanian-flagged products tanker El Valencia – and to answer questions about her death, why her family weren’t informed about it for several days, and why the ship was allowed to proceed for an incredible 17 days with her body onboard.
ITF Panama inspector Luis Fruto was the first person to raise questions about the case. He explains what happened: ‘The El Valencia was sailing from the Pacific coast of Panama to the Atlantic through the Panama Canal. It stopped between 27 July and 30 July due to steering problems, then anchored at Puerto de Cristobal (Panama) on 30 July and set sail for Ciudad Del Carmen (Mexico) at 01.10 on 1 August 2012. The reason for the voyage is unclear; the Mexican authorities have told us the ship did not have a charter contract.
The fatal accident happened on 4 August at latitude 19 16.7 N – longitude 083 46.8 W. At 04.00 the first officer, along with the cadet and oiler Dayra Wood (a graduate of the International Maritime University of Panama on her first voyage) went on watch. At 04.50, working alone, she made ready to transfer the bilge to the slop tanks in the engine room. At 05.00, she asked another cadet for help to get the emergency pump in place to discharge the bilge because the ship’s pump was faulty. We don’t understand how the PMA (Panama Maritime Authority) authorities gave this ship permission to sail when it had so many defects.
According to the note issued by the captain, “The first officer heard Dayra calling out his name in desperation. The note says that when he saw her caught up in the mechanism, his immediate reaction was to stop the machine using the emergency button. He went to Dayra Wood and found her dead.”
“At 05.35, Captain José Galloway went down to the engine room. At 06.10, he called Javier Garcia at the ULTRAMAR agency in Panama. At 06.20, he called Cesar Centella at the agency in Panama and the latter e-mailed him a death certificate and information on the steps he should take. At 08.45, the body was removed from the scene of the accident.”
“The investigation continues. It raises multiple questions. We have reason to believe that the certificates of some of the crew on the ship need examination, following rumours that some of them were bought. The AMP has withdrawn the ship’s certificates and the owners have reportedly tried to change the flag. Why didn’t the PMA notify the Mexican authorities immediately? Why did the Mexican authorities not detain the ship when it put into Ciudad del Carmen, or Dos Bocas, with a weeks-old body onboard? These are questions that must be answered in order to clarify the circumstances of Dayra Wood’s death.”
“Databases list the owners of the El Valencia as Top Agents Ltd of Panama City. However, they are believed locally to be the Fernández brothers, who run the Astilleros Braswell shipyard in Panama.”
The Bulletin understands Astilleros Braswell was run under concession by “the Fernandez brothers” but that this was cancelled by the AMP and the drydock was offered by tender.
Those wishing to read the complete article can find it at: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1209/S00079/itf-calls-for-full-cadet-death-investigation.htm.
This post is also available in: Spanish