Qatar court orders $55,000 compensation for shipwreck victims

February 11, 2011

A Qatari court has ordered that 200,000 riyals ($54,890) be paid in blood money to the dependents of some of the 24 people who were killed when a ship sank off the Doha coast in June 2009.

The court held the captain responsible for the incident, Qatari aily The Peninsula reported.

Five people, including the captain, were rescued after the vessel with 35 people on board, sank about 10 nautical miles off the Doha coast.

The ship was carrying nine crew members and 24 employees of HBK Power Cleaning Company, and two caterers working for a company hired by HBK.

The ship, MV Demas Victory, which provided support to offshore oil and gas platforms, sank as it tried to re-enter Doha Port in rough conditions early in the morning on the day of the incident, the daily said.

The court found that the vessel had capsized due to the captain’s callous behaviour. A probe concluded that the captain did not bother to place sand bags properly to balance the ship and that the water and fuel tanks were almost empty, making the vessel vulnerable to strong winds.

No engineer was in the engine room while navigating the vessel from Halul island to Doha Port and the ship relied fully on a technician.

According to the vessel’s black box, the ship was moving at about 11 knots where the expected speed was six knots, the report said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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