San Francisco: British operator Norbulk Shipping was hit with a $750,000 fine and given a three-year suspended sentence by a US judge on Wednesday for one of its ships illegally discharging waste into the sea last year and covering up the act.
Norbulk had previously pleaded guilty to improper disposal and of tampering with the oil book and the garbage record book, for incidents relating to its vessel the reefer cargo ship M/V Murcia Carrier (9,000 dwt, built 1996). The sentence was delivered by US District Court Judge Joseph Rodriguez in Camden, New Jersey.
Under the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) the oil book is an important part of the ship’s record, noting transfers and disposals of oil-contaminated waste. So too is the garbage record book, which also was tampered with in this case.
On April 27, 2014, crew members on board the M/V Murcia Carrier dumped overboard several barrels containing hydraulic oil in Atlantic waters off the coast of Florida while the vessel was in transit from Costa Rica to New Jersey.
To conceal the dumping, crewmembers presented US Coast Guard officials with a false oil record book and garbage record book when the vessel arrived in Gloucester, New Jersey.