Turkish tanker cleared in Spanish pollution probe

Following an investigation by Tarragona Port on the Spanish Mediterranean coast, oil/chemical tanker Lagertha (IMO 9410143), which had been detained by Spain for allegedly discharging hydrocarbons in the open waters of the Mediterranean, has been released and cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Maltese-flagged ship, which is operated by Besiktas Shipping Group, had been intercepted by Spanish authorities after a discharge was detected by air patrol and satellite radar. It extended over an area of 12.7 sq km.

Upon arrival at the port, the owners were informed by the port that they would be fined €100,000 and that a port state control inspection would be performed onboard due to alleged pollution.

At this point Besiktas Group patiently explained that the discharge operation had been perfectly legal, as the vessel did not have any oil cargo or oil washing water onboard. Instead it had fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) which was earlier loaded in Amsterdam. “The vessel sailed from its last discharge port of La Coruna to Tarragona and, during her passage off Finistere, the vessel carried out tank cleaning and disposal to sea as per Marpol regulations. Vessel cargo was Annex II, Fame cargo and all tank washing discharge operations were carried out as per Marpol requirements,” a Besiktas official said.

Besiktas also noted that it provided all records to the Spanish port state control officers before it had even arrived in Tarragona, adding that the “inspection covering the investigations was completed without any finding related to alleged pollution”. The vessel was allowed to sail on February 21st  to pick up cargo at Motril and discharge in Bilbao.

2009-built, Malta-flagged, 12,619 gt Lagertha is owned by Logon Shipping Ltd care of manager Besiktas Likid Tamis cilik of Istanbul, Turkiye. It is entered with Steamship Mutual (European syndicate) on behalf of Logon Shipping Ltd. As of February 23rd the Lagertha close to arriving at Motril, Spain, having left Tarragona on February 17th.