Sea Coen officers fined for Great Barrier Reef incursion

An Australian court has convicted and fined the Master and First Officer of bulk carrier Sea Coen (IMO 9271638) for operating the vessel in a shipping exclusion zone near the Great Barrier Reef in March 2022.

The vessel’s officers pleaded guilty to the charges, resulting in a total fine of A$75,000 (US$52,000) for the compliance breach, which was detected by a vessel-tracking service in the marine park.

The Townsville Magistrates Court was informed on June 21st 2022 that the park’s vessel-tracking service observed the violation by the bulk carrier, which had entered the reef lagoon through Palm Passage, an area offshore of Townsville which is a shipping exclusion zone. The Master and First Officer, both of whom are from South Korea, had been charged and released on bail.

The actions of the pair were found to have increased “significantly” the level of risk to the safe navigation of the ship through the Great Barrier Reef, although no major damage resulted. They pleaded guilty in court to the charges of Prohibited Conduct in a zone of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The master was fined A$40,000 and the first officer A$35,000.

2005-built, Marshall Islands-flagged, 88,594 gt Sea Coen is owned by Korea Tonnage No 70 Shipping care of manager SW Shipping Co Ltd of Seoul, South Korea. ISM manager is Doriko Ltd of Seoul, South Korea. It is entered with West of England (Claims Team Singapore) on behalf of Korea Tonnage No 70 Shipping Co. As of June 27th the vessel was en route from San Nicolas, Peru, to Ningbo, China, ETA July 13th