Discharge caught on camera by crew member leads to $2 million fine

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Illegal discharge was caught on video provided to the Coast Guard by a crew member

DECEMBER 14, 2018 — A thumb drive containing videos were given to the Coast Guard by a crew member of Navios Tankers Management-managed ship has led to Navimax Corporation, incorporated in the Marshall Islands with its main offices in Greece, being hit with a $2,000,000 fine for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and obstructing a Coast Guard investigation.

The Department of Justice says that according to court documents and statements made in court, Navimax operated the Nave Cielo, a 750-foot long oil tanker. Prior to a formal inspection on December 7, 2017, the U.S. Coast Guard boarded the vessel near Delaware City when a crew member gave the officers a thumb drive containing two videos, depicting a high-volume discharge of dark brown and black oil waste from a five-inch pipe, located 15-feet above water level. Subsequent investigation during a more comprehensive inspection on December 7, 2017, disclosed that the approximately 10-minute discharge occurred on November 2, 2017, in international waters, after the ship left New Orleans en route to Belgium. During the Coast Guard boarding on December 7, 2017, crew members presented the ship’s Oil Record Book, which did not record this discharge.

According to the Equasis data base, the 74,896 dwt, 2007-built, Cayman Islands registered Nave Cielo is managed by Piraeus, Greece, headquartered Navios Tankers Management Inc.

The district court ordered Navimax to pay the $2,000,000 fine immediately and placed the company on probation for four years.

“The conviction and criminal fine, reinforced by a four-year term of probation, during which the defendant’s fleet of ships will be monitored, ensures that defendant is held accountable,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware David C. Weiss. “The message to the shipping industry is clear: environmental crimes at sea will not be tolerated.”


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