Ashish Maini, the 43-year-old captain of cargo ship AM Ghent (IMO 9593476) has been accused of allowing the spillage of oil in port waters and damaging the breeding place of an animal of a protected European species. He was scheduled to appear before the magistrates on February 26th at Peñón Magistrates Court.
Apparently the accident occurred during a bunkering operation, when the anchored bulk carrier was receiving fuel from bunker tanker.
The investigation had been carried out in conjunction with the Gibraltar Port Authority, the Gibraltar Maritime Administration and the Department of the Environment. Initially Gibraltar reported that the spill was caused by the failure of one of the ventilation valves of the vessel, which led the Gibraltar port authority to activate its anti-pollution plan.
The fuel spill spread over a large part of the waters of the Bay of Algeciras. The Government of El Peñón has reported that the spill was notified at 06:50 local time on February 12th, the day after the ship dropped anchor. Because of delays in communication the containment barriers were only deployed four hours later by the Captaincy of the Port of Algeciras and Salvamento Marítimo.
A call from the port captain of Gibraltar mediated with the Royal Navy commands to stop any potential harassment of the Spanish civil vessels working in the Bay of Gibraltar. A barrier was then put in place to contain the spill from the La Línea dock, on the border with the Peñón. This prevented the fuel from reaching the Spanish coast.
2011-built, Liberia-flagged, 51,265 gt AM Ghent is owned by Naviera Trans Ore AIE care of manager Arcelor Mittal Shipping Ltd of London, UK. ISM manager is Anglo-Eastern Ship Management of Hong Kong, China. It is entered with North of England on behalf of Global Chartering Ltd.