Greece-based Sea World Management & Trading Inc, the operator of products tanker Sea Faith, which was found by a US court to have dumped oily water and garbage waste at sea, has said that the Master of the tanker acted unilaterally and that his illegal actions had been against company policy.
Sea World Management and Trading Inc and the Master of the products tanker Sea Faith pleaded guilty to two violations of the US Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships as part of a plea agreement with the US Department of Justice (DoJ). The charges were for failing to maintain an accurate Oil Record and Garbage Record Books onboard the Sea Faith and illegally discharging oily waste and dumping garbage while operating off the coast of Texas between March 10th and March 18th 2017.
As part of a plea deal Sea World Management agreed to pay a fine of $2.25m with three years’ probation. The Master, Captain Edmond Fajardo, was sentenced to six months in jail followed by two years supervised release and a $2,000 fine.
Both Sea World Management & Trading Inc and the captain admitted that oil cargo residues and machinery space bilge water were dumped illegally from the Sea Faith directly into the ocean while the vessel was transiting to Corpus Christi, Texas, without using the required pollution prevention equipment. They also admitted that these discharges were not recorded in the vessel’s Oil Record Book as required by law.
Since the plea agreement, Sea World Management has said that Captain Fajardo acted alone and without the knowledge of the operator. “Sea World Management, while accepting its position as manager of the vessel and employer of the Master, states that in illegally discharging oily water and garbage waste, Captain Fajardo acted unilaterally and in total contravention of the Company’s policies in relation to the correct processing of cargo residues and machinery space bilge water and waste, together with the correct recording of all actions in the appropriate record books”.
Sea World Management added that since March 2017 it had acted to ensure its environmental policy was monitored and strictly. It said that it had
- Contracted the services of one of the most reputable US based Companies that has performed a number of on board Voluntary Environmental Assessment & Conformance Audits (VEACA).
- Arranged for Third party Forensic audits by one of the leading US based Companies in its field.
- Increased the number of shipboard visits by both management and Superintendents. This included a Compliance Team who randomly patrolled the ships to ensure compliance and to provide guidance.
Sea World Management added that “of the 21 complement of the Sea Faith, 12 crew members plus the Captain have been held in the US since March. Sea World Management is making strenuous efforts to ensure the 12 crew are repatriated to their homes with all possible speed.”
Status of Maritime Conventions (as of March 1st 2018): Latest changes; (#legal)
|Country||Treaty||Date of deposit||Came into force|
|Sweden||Nairobi WRC 2007||3 Nov. 2017||3 Feb. 2018|
|Iceland||MARPOL PROT 1997 Annex VI||22 Nov. 2017||22 Feb. 2018|
|Seychelles||BWM 2004||27 Nov. 2017||27 Feb. 2018|