Zeaborn pays $2m to settle MARPOL charges

Zeaborn Ship Management has pleaded guilty to charges of maintaining a false oil record book in connection with discharges of oily bilge water from the freighter Star Maia (IMO 9189940) last year.

Zeaborn is only the latest operator to fall foul of the US Coast Guard’s strict enforcement of international oil pollution rules.

Prosecutors said that Zeaborn and Star Maia’s chief engineer admitted to dumping more than 7,500 gallons of untreated oily bilge water into the ocean without running it through the oil-water separator – a practice banned by international treaty and by US federal law. The engineer also admitted that these discharges were recorded falsely in the vessel’s oil record book.

In the USA the maintenance of a falsified oil record book is a felony offence.

The vessel’s captain admitted that the ship’s crew burned rubbish on deck in empty barrels and then threw the barrels over the side. Contrary to US federal law, these unusual disposal methods were not recorded in the garbage record book.

Star Maia’s captain and chief engineer each pleaded guilty to one felony violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, for failure to maintain an accurate garbage record book and failure to maintain an accurate oil record book (respectively). Sentencing is scheduled for December 1st.

Zeaborn pleaded guilty to two similar felony counts. Under the agreement, the company will pay a $1.5m fine, make a $500,000 community service payment, and serve the standard four-year probation term, which entails extra environmental compliance oversight for its US port calls.

1998-built, Isle Of man-flagged, 29,688 gt Star Maia is owned by Grieg Shipping II AS care of manager G2 Ocean AS of Bergen, Norway. ISM manager is Zeaborn Ship Management SNG of Singapore. It is entered with Skuld (Skuld Bergen business unit) on behalf of Grieg Shipping II AS.