The inquest into the death of Tri Prayogi concluded on the 9th June with Her Majesty’s Coroner Mrs Sarah Whitby recording a narrative verdict in which she stated that Mr Prayogi had died from a treatable condition.
In the final stages of the inquest Mrs Whitby heard evidence from a variety of people including forensic pathologist Dr John Clark. Dr Clark said that the 23-year-old Indonesian had clear evidence of tuberculosis in his upper left lung. It was also found in the post-mortem that it had likely developed into pneumonia and haemorrhages were found on his heart which were “not inevitably fatal”.
The cause of death listed on his post-mortem was pulmonary tuberculosis with pneumonitis and myocarditis. Dr Clark said that Mr Prayogi’s condition would have been “treatable and survivable” but added that “he died from the infection.”
Mrs Whitby also heard from Mr Cheng-Ho Yen, General Manager of the fishing company Mr Prayogi worked for, who confirmed that the captain of the vessel had not received medical training and that records were not kept to monitor sick crew members. Neglect was not a factor in this case. However, it was noted that the captain did not seem to note the “significance of a young man being ill for so long.”
Mrs Whitby said that the captain’s assessment of the situation was “flawed, with tragic consequences.” In the inquest Mrs Whitby raised the issue of TB on fishing vessels and spoke to witnesses about what could be done to improve the situation. She pointed to evidence that in the last 10 years in the Falkland Islands, 6 fishermen have died from TB.
Speaking to the court, Chief Medical Officer Dr Rebecca Edwards said that she has treated a number of seafarers from this illness who had gone on to recover.
A preventing further deaths report will be written and circulated to appropriate parties looking into the issues of TB on fishing vessels and what can be done to help the situation.Closing the inquest Mrs Whitby expressed her condolences to the family of Mr Prayogi.