Death Ship captain faces inquest after secret Qld arrival

SAGE Sagittarius former captain Venancio Salas Jr is to again front a coronial inquest into how two men died in Australian waters while he was master. 

Capt Salas is expected to face the Sydney Coroner's Court at the inquest today.

Former Captain of the Sage Sagittarius or
Former Captain of the Sage Sagittarius or "death ship", Captain Venancio Salas Jr. Contributed

The inquest is examining how a Filipino chief cook disappeared overboard as the Sagittarius headed south along the Queensland coastline in August 2012.

As the Sagittarius arrived in Newcastle two weeks later, the ship's chief engineer suffered a blow to his skull before falling 10m to his death.

The fatalities earned the Sagittarius its "death ship" nickname.

A third crewman -- a Japanese safety supervisor -- was crushed to death on board the ship the following month as it arrived at a Japanese port. This third fatality is not a focus of the inquest

Australian Regional Media exclusively revealed on Monday that the Kypros Sea would this week dock in Gladstone, with Capt Salas as master.

The inquest reacted swiftly to contact the ship and Capt Salas.

DEATH SHIP INQUEST: Special Coverage

When Capt Salas previously appeared at the inquest in mid-2015, he admitted to illegally selling guns on board and conceded he had physically assaulted a young, gay crewman.

Capt Salas told the inquest at the time he could not answer further questions because he was soon to board a ship - the Kypros Sea - in Brazil. He would be out of contact for the eight months of his contract, he said.

Sage Sagittarius.
Sage Sagittarius.

Earlier this week, an AFP case officer confirmed he treated the chief cook's disappearance as an "alleged murder" as investigations began in 2012. 

Topics:  sage-sagittarius

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