Tanker captain pleads guilty to obstructing USCG probe into illegal discharges at sea

The captain of an Aegean Shipping chemical tanker that made illegal discharges into the sea pleaded guilty on Thursday to obstructing a US Coast Guard (USCG) investigation of those crimes.

Filipino citizen Genaro Anciano entered his plea in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina.

The case concerns instances in 2015 when the Greek-owned Green Sky used a so-called “magic pipe” device to bypass pollution prevention equipment and discharge bilge into the sea.

The ship’s oil record book was also tampered with to hide the illegal discharge.

Anciano’s guilty plea effectively means he admits making misleading statements to the initial USCG probe of the incidents in an attempt to cover them up.

A sentencing date has not yet been set.

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.


  1. I was at sea, admittedly many years ago, but still remember sailing through massive areas of oil which soiled and disfigured the ocean. As I was an Engineer Officer, I asked the First Mate how this was allowed. He shrugged and replied that it was far cheaper for a tanker to clean tanks and dump the residue overboard, than to store the garbage in a special tank and then have to pay to offload that mess on shore. I also sailed on a tanker, and we had cleaned our tanks upon leaving; after discharge in Perth Amboy. The First Mate made all the arrangements for oil storage, but a deck cadet made the wrong valve connections, and all the waste oil was pumped over the side. We managed to clean most of the stains away, admittedly with some difficulty as we were moving; but the pilot of our next port, upon boarding, pointed over the side, winked at the Second Mate and smilingly stated “you missed a bit!”

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