628 - 3/09 - Illegal Overboard Discharge - Worldwide

Date: 13/03/2009

Following a number of earlier cases and as an update to previous bulletins the Association would like to remind Members of the seriousness of falsifying oil record books and carrying out illegal overboard discharges.

A specific case in the United States which has just resulted in the chief engineer of the tanker Nautilus being convicted of covering up the illegal dumping of oily waste into international waters, serves as a harsh reminder to all those within the industry.

The chief engineer admitted to ordering his crew to dump oily waste from the ship along with personally discharging waste himself. In addition to these crimes he pleaded guilty to intentionally covering up the discharge by falsifying the ships records. As a result of his actions the engineer faces a maximum sentence of six years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 US.

In the same case the vessel’s operator pleaded guilty to two charges under the “Act To Prevent Pollution From Ships” and as a result has entered into an Environmental Compliance Plan as well as paying fines amounting to around $1.4 million US.

The penalties imposed on both the chief engineer and the vessel’s operator show that governments continue to take a very strong line with those found guilty of offences relating to marine pollution.

For further information please see the following Loss Prevention bulletins:

  Bulletin 032 – 01/98

  Bulletin 195 – 06/01

  Bulletin 239 – 03/02

  Bulletin 247 – 05/02

  Bulletin 482 – 08/06

  Bulletin 612 – 12/08

Source of information:  United States Department of Justice

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