MV Benita – Engineer Assaulted: “C’est Moi Qui Ai Coupe Le Moteur”

The sailor of MV Benita Alvin Maderse was assaulted with iron bars beaten by his colleague Omar Taton. He went into coma for three days. He described the incident on board to investigators on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Benita MV: Stopped, The Filipino Seafarer Return To Police Cell

He escaped death. Assaulted with an iron bar, the engineer Alvin Maderse came out of coma on Tuesday. He has received violent blows to the head. Now out of danger, a team of Plaine-Magnien CID took his statement from his bed of Candos hospital.

Alvin Maderse, 28 of age relates that Thursday, June 16 at around 10 PM he was in the engine room. “I felt a presence behind me. Omar Taton said to me: ‘I’ll kill you’. He hit me several blows to the head and body. He was uncontrollable, I did not know the reason for this persecution,” says Maderse. The victim was able to escape his attacker, aged 38. “I ran up the stairs to go on deck.”

Emergency stop
At the top level, there was no seafarer to rescue him. “I had the reflex to activate the emergency stop button (emergency stop) to stop the machines. “The engine stopped while the system went off, it was a total panic on board. The whole crew was mobilizing to see what happened. Taton fled at that moment as he did not want anyone to see him. That gave respite to Alvin Maderse who ran towards his colleagues to call for help.

The attacker knowing that other sailors would launch a research to look for him then locked himself in the engine room. No one could get in since the exits were locked. To ensure we do not lose balance overboard, Omar Taton cut off the entire system letting the boat drift for eight hours. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) was deactivate and  radars of the NCG could not locate the ship on their screens until the MV Benita ran aground on the reefs at Le Bouchon.

READ MORE: [VIDEO] MV Benita: Ship Sinking At Le Bouchon

Captain: “I launched a distress signal”
At 10:30 PM the captain who no longer control the ship sent out an SOS to the Mauritian authorities: MV Benita required a medical evacuation. “I have not used satellite phone, but a UHF radio to communicate with the Mauritian authorities. The emergency generator on deck was not working.”

A crew member less
The CID of Plaine-Magnien examined the crew list for the MV Benita that indicated 24 sailors. However, local authorities have counted 23 sailors. According to the captain, the 24th seafarer was not on board since he stayed in India. The CID is awaiting confirmation if the Filipino sailor is truly in India.

Sailors: “The captain gave no instruction”
Twenty sailors gave their statements to the police. “After the incident, we were waiting for instructions from the captain. When the boat docked in Mahébourg that the captain asked to anchor the shop, 200 meters from the coast and without success. A second anchor was dropped, slowing down the ship. We were scared and we put on our life jackets. When the boat ran aground on the reef, we could not throw us in the water because of the strong waves.”