Portline fined for dumping oily water

Portline Bulk International of Portugal has been fined $1.5m by authorities in the US after crew on one of its ships, Achilleus, were found to have dumped oily water into the sea and used false documentation to cover up the pollution.

Inspectors with the US Coast Guard discovered the false documentation while the ship was docked at the Port of Charleston in August.

Two of the ship’s engineers also signed plea agreements. They each face fines of up to $250,000 and a maximum of six years in prison. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

“The practice was to hook up the bypass hose a day or two after the ship left port and leave it connected, under the deck plates, during the oceanic voyage,” the plea agreement states “Before entering a new port, the hose was disconnected and hidden in a storage room.”

One of the ship’s crewmembers told a Coast Guard inspector the oil-water separator was “for display only, just for show”.

Crewmembers occasionally ran clean water through the oil-water separator to trick the ship’s electronic monitoring systems.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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