Diana-Wilhelmsen JV ordered to pay $2 million fine in pollution case

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Cyprus-based Diana Wilhelmsen Management Limited (DWM), was yesterday sentenced to pay a fine of $2 million after pleading guilty to violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships involving the 73,530 dwt bulker Protefs. Imposing sentence in federal court in Norfolk, Va., U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith also placed the company on probation for a period of four years, and ordered it to implement a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Plan as a special condition of probation.

DWM—a 50/50 joint venture between Diana Shipping Inc. and Wilhelmsen Ship Management—was sentenced after pleading guilty to two felony offenses in two judicial districts: the Eastern District of Virginia and the Eastern District of Louisiana.

In pleading guilty, DWM admitted that crew members onboard the Protefs, knowingly failed to record in the vessel’s oil record book the overboard discharge of oily bilge water from mid-April 2020 until before the vessel arrived in Newport News, Va., on June 10, 2020. The vessel also arrived in New Orleans, La., on June 1, 2020 with a knowingly false oil record book.

DWM admitted that the crew on the vessel used an emergency de-watering system to illegally discharge oily water directly into the ocean from the vessel’s bilge holding tank, duct keel and bilge wells. Those discharges were not recorded in the oil record book as required. The chief engineer, Vener Dailisan, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to U.S. Coast Guard inspectors about the existence of a sounding log which is routinely sought by inspectors in order to ascertain the accuracy of the oil record book. Dailisan was sentenced to a fine of $3,000 and placed on probation for two years.

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