MANAMA: The "captain" of the dhow which capsized off Muharraq, killing at least 57 people, was not licensed, it was revealed last night. He has been arrested, along with his co-captain, prosecution director Nawaf Hamza told a Press conference at the Civil Defence headquarters.
He said the dhow was also overloaded, though this was not necessarily the direct cause of the disaster.
Fifty-seven bodies had been recovered, 67 people rescued and two were still missing last night.
Mr Hamza said the "captain" of the ill-fated Al Dana, which capsized with 126 people aboard, was not qualified to be at the helm.
"He is just a sailor and not ready to handle the job. This makes him responsible, under criminal law.
"He could get five years under criminal law, but that doesn't mean he is alone.
"Under civil law the owner is responsible for his worker, but not under criminal law.
"We don't know if the boat is insured third party, but any compensation could only come through a civil lawsuit and not through the criminal court."
The dhow was hired by contracting joint-venture Nass, Murray & Roberts to celebrate completion of the concreting work at the Bahrain World Trade Centre.
All the bodies had been identified and cleared for relatives to claim them, said Mr Hamza.
"We have also started questioning survivors, organisers and those involved and based on investigations the number of people on the dhow is 126 guests and crew members," he said.
Mr Hamza said a technical committee was being formed to examine whether the dhow had been functioning properly and safety regulations met.
The committee will be sworn in at the Public Prosecution office today.
l Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa will appear before parliament for informal questioning tomorrow, it was announced last night.