By MarEx 2015-07-09 11:46:29
The former chief mate of the ocean cargo vessel M/V Murcia Carrier was sentenced on Wednesday to three months in prison for environmental crimes.
On April 27, 2014 Russian citizen Valerii Georgiev ordered crew members on board the M/V Murcia Carrier to dump several barrels containing hydraulic oil overboard. While Georgiev disputes the quantity of oil dumped into the sea, the government believes that approximately 20 barrels were dumped overboard.
The dumping occurred in international waters off the coast of Florida while the vessel was in transit from Costa Rica to New Jersey. It was not recorded in the ship’s oil record book in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS).
During the course of the Coast Guard boarding, Georgiev denied that dumping occurred and instructed crew members on board the vessel maintain the same story. However, on June 15 of this year Georgiev admitted wrongdoing by pleading guilty to the environmental violations.
Also in June, the operator of the M/V Murcia Carrier, Glasgow-based Norbulk Shipping UK Ltd, pleaded guilty to failing to maintain an accurate oil record logbook and providing false statements with respect to the vessel’s garbage record book. The company was ordered to pay a fine of $750,000 and placed on probation for three years.
The case was investigated by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay and the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service. Captain Benjamin Cooper, the Sector Commander for the USCG Delaware Bay said, “the Coast Guard takes marine pollution seriously and works cohesively with our partner agencies to hold those who violate international law accountable for their actions. We anticipate the results of this case will deter future brazen illegal oil discharges into the sea.”