The inquest hearing into the death of fisherman Mr Ramdan Assidiq concluded on the 11th of August, with Her Majesty’s Coroner, Mrs Sarah Whitby, recording a narrative verdict in which she stated that Mr Assidiq “died from a natural condition, some symptoms of which were apparent, but which were not responded to.”
Mr Assidiq was a crew member on board a Taiwanese-owned Jigger vessel, the Jih Da Yng, which was fishing in Falklands waters when he died on Wednesday the 19th of May of pulmonary tuberculosis.
The final stages of the inquest led by Her Majesty’s Coroner, Mrs Sarah Whitby, heard evidence from Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rebecca Edwards, who compared the appearance of Mr. Assidiq’s body post-mortem to that of a “concentration camp victim”.
The court also heard from the general manager of the shipping company that employed Mr. Assidiq. Mr. Chang of Cheh Yng Marine Products Company Limited, confirmed neither the Captain or 1st Officer of the vessel had received specialist medical training nor had any previous experience of dealing with Tuberculosis.
In Mr. Assidiq’s final days, the 1st Officer of the vessel explained to the court that he had instructed Mr. Assidiq “to rest” after complaints of a swollen ankle, and made temperature and diet checks on his colleague, but that these checks were not recorded.
In her final assessments examining the issue of neglect, Mrs. Whitby stated that no action had been taken to provide the “appropriate medical help” to Mr. Assidiq, but there was no evidence to suggest the crew management responsible for his health “knew” his illness was “potentially fatal”. Meaning, it would therefore “not be logically possible” to identify neglect as a factor in the case.
Mr. Chang, as General Manager of the Taiwanese Shipping Company, spoke of plans to provide more TB training for their Captains and 1st Officers as well as introduce improved medical equipment on board.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rebecca Edwards also recommended an increased use of “early warning” report forms on board vessels, to help medical workers in Stanley respond to future “treatable” medical emergencies.
Concluding her inquiry, Mrs. Whitby expressed her condolences to the family of Mr. Assidiq.