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Charges laid in against owners of ship that spilled bunker fuel in English Bay in 2015

Court charges were laid on Wednesday against the owners of a bulk carrier that spilled thousands of litres of bunker fuel into Vancouver’s English Bay in April 2015.

Alassia NewShips Management, the Greek company that owns the 2005-built vessel Marathassa, faces 10 pollution-related charges and potential fines in the millions of dollars.

The first scheduled court date for the case in Vancouver Provincial Court is April 5, 2017.

Alassia NewShips Management has applied to Canada’s federal court to have the case delayed on the procedural grounds that the court summons relating to the case was delivered to people who are not company employees.

The April 8, 2015 spill soiled beaches around Vancouver including Stanley Park – the city’s jewel – and across the Burrard Inlet in West Vancouver.

An August 2015 independent review of the incident, commissioned by the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), found that the ship owners’ initial failure to admit that the vessel was the source of the spill caused damaging delays of nearly two hours to the response efforts.

The review found the delay was exacerbated by technology woes, miscommunications and confusion over responsibilities among the responding agencies and partners, including CCG.

It also made 25 recommendations on how future marine spills could be handled.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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