Million dollar faine for dumping of oily waste at sea
The companies that own and operate the "Gallia Graeca" were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle last week to a $1.3 million fine for the dumping of oily waste at sea. The ship operator, Angelakos (Hellas) S.A., and the ship owner, Gallia Graeca Shipping Ltd., were found guilty in June 2016 of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, falsification of records in a federal investigation, and engaging in a scheme to defraud the United States.
U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour hoped the sanctions “would resonate and cause other companies to pause when they think about creating a corporate culture that encourages deception. "These companies promoted a culture of lies and lawlessness that left a trail of pollution in the Pacific Ocean,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “Knowing that the Coast Guard was going to do an inspection of their shipping vessel, corporate managers allowed the chief engineer to present falsified documents. The significant fines imposed in this case send a clear message that those who spoil our environment by putting their business interests ahead of our laws will be held responsible.”
The "Gallia Graeca" sailed from China to Seattle in Oct 2015. During the voyage, an oil water separator was inoperable. On October 16, 26, and 27, the defendants discharged 5,000 gallons of oily bilge water overboard. The defendants concealed these incidents from the Coast Guard by making false statements to inspectors, and making false statements and omissions in the ship’s oil record book. When Coast Guard inspectors asked the engineers to operate the oil water separator during the inspection, the engineers did so in such a way that the equipment appeared to be working properly even though it was not. Records indicated the oil water separator had not been serviced for months prior to the voyage from China.
The defendants presented the Coast Guard with an official oil record book stating that bilge water had not been discharged during the voyage to Seattle. However, the Coast Guard investigation discovered evidence that oily water had been discharged into the sea three times on its voyage from China.
The companies were placed on five years of probation and required to have environmental compliance plans in place which will ensure they are abiding by anti-pollution policies and regulations.
In addition to the $1.3 million fine, Judge Coughenour ordered a $200,000 community service payment to be shared between the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Parks Foundation. The two engineers who operated the ship’s equipment and falsified the log books were sentenced to short prison terms before returning to Greece.
While salvage crews are ready to begin the process of raising the "Nathan E. Stewart" from the Seaforth Channel, a gale warning was in effect over the region, about 500 kilometres north of Vancouver, and all small boats have returned to port. Winds up to 50 knots could delay plans to reposition the "Nathan E. Stewart" from the site on a reef under nine metres of water just west of Bella Bella.
When possible, the tug was to be moved to deeper water, where it will be raised and loaded onto a barge for removal from the ocean off the Great Bear Rainforest. Since the sinking, more than 100-thousand litres of diesel and nearly 5,000 litres of lubricants have leaked out and large shellfish beds vital to the First Nation economy have been closed to harvesting. One dead seal and otter have been recovered, along with a number of oiled birds.
The "Skandi Stord" which has been laid up since June 2016 has been sold by DOF. The sale follows those of the "Skandi Inspector" and "Skandi Falcon". For the Skandi Protector" DOF entered an agreement with the Aussie authorities and was left with a profit of 300 million Norwegian crowns.
Sailings cancelled due to sudden illness of captain
Sailings of the "Kungshatt" in STockholm had to be cancelled on Nov 1, 2016, after the master suddenly fell ill. Two trips to town in the morning and one in the evening between Tappström and Klara Mälarstrand were affected. The travelers at Tappström had to turn back at the pier. No replacement could be found at short notice, so passengers had to find other means of travel. The passengers were informed through the electronic sign on the bridge and in the trip planner available on the web and in an application for mobile phones.
Body count at 18, more than 50 injured, dozens missing in Gadani
The "Aces" was still ablaze 24 hours after the start of the fire on board. More explosions were to be heard. The number of dead rose to 18 meanwhile. More than 50 were injured. Dozens may still be trapped inside the tanker. There was not enough equipment to extinguish the fire Teams of Pak Navy, Pakistan Air force, Karachi Port Trust and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation have been called for help. At dawn the rescue work was interrupted.
Reports with photos:
On Nov 1, 2016, at 1:26 a.m. the fishing boat "Bakul" ran aground on rocks of the islet Trumbuja, near Cape Školjić close to Premantura. The "Cicilo" was assisting after the accident. Two injured people were transported by EMS Pula for further medical treatment in the General Hospital in Pula.
Containership disabled by fire and towed to Las Palmas
The "Maersk Patras" was disabled by an engine room fire fire in the morning of Nov 1, 2016, about 90 miles ESE of Las Palmas off the Western Sahara coast near Laayoune. The ship was en route from Algeciras, where it had sailed at 1.15 a.m., to Conakry, when the fire disabled the ship which went adrift and requested assistance. The tug "Salvanguard" (IMO: 9276664) was contracted to assist and took the ship in tow on Nov 2 at 1 a.m. The convoy headed towards Las Palmas, maintaining six knots speed with an ETA as of 5 p.m.
Off Las Palmas, the tugs "Alboran", "B. Balear", "Mastin" and "Mediterraneo" took over in the evening hours. Around 8 p.m. the ship was berthed at the quay of Operaciones Portuarias Canarias. It was deployed on the WAF5 service Leixoes-Lissabon-Algeciras-Conakry-Luanda-Lobito-Walvis Bay.
The Maersk company was working on a contingency plan for the cargo on board the vessel. Upon arrival in Las Palmas, Maersk will further investigate to establish the extent of damage and any impact to the vessel’s seaworthiness.
On Nov 1, 2016, at 8.30 p.m. the "Trans Future 1" collided with a Korean 24-ton trawler eight miles northwest of Sinjin, Taen, west of Pyeongtaek, in the Yellow Sea. The coastla trawler partially sank but remained afloat, the eight crew members were rescued by a nearby fishing vessel. The "Trans Future 1" was bound from Hakata to Pyeongtaek.
On Nov 1,2016, the "Hohefels" guarded a motor boat with seven Algerians aboard, while coming from Algericas, around 40 miles Southeast of Cabo de Gata. The cargo ship remained on scene until the arrival of the lifeboat "Salvamar Denébola" at 7.20 p.m.
On Oct 31,2016, the lifeboat "Zeemanshoop" was alerted by the "Maatje Helena - YE 138" after a crew member had suffered an injury at the hand. The skipper called the Dutch Coast Guard for Radio Medical Device RMD. Because the fingers had been significantly squeezed and the man had also lost a fair amount of blood, the doctor of the RMD recommended to evacuate the man for transport to the hospital. The Dutch Coastguard immediately alerted the lifeboat of the KNRM-station Breskens. The "Zeemanshoop" rendezvoused with the trawler near buoy Scheur 8 half an hour after the alert, and the injured fisherman could be taken aboard. The lifeboat then head for the outer port of Flushing, where it arrived short after midnight. The patient was then transferred to a waiting ambulance.
Dutch report with photos: