U.K. court fines Russian tanker captain for ISM Code deficiencies

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JUNE 16, 2018 — A U.K. court has imposed penalties totaling £25,761.99 (about $34,000) on the captain of a Russian oil tanker for breaching the International Safety Management (ISM) Code in a prosecution brought by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Vitaliy Trofimov, Captain of the Russian registered 85 m long tanker Tecoil Polaris pleaded guilty on June 14 to serious non-compliance of safety requirements which placed the vessel – to be loaded with 1,665 tonnes of lubrication oil – at risk.

He was fined £1,400 in Hull Magistrate’s Court and ordered to pay £24,361.99 in costs.

According to the MCA, the vessel arrived at Humber Port on the evening of Tuesday, June 5, 2018 having come from Hamina, Finland. Humber Port Authority reported concerns about the master and crew’s competency as the vessel approached and berthed at Immingham Docks, Humber.

The vessel was inspected by MCA Inspectors on the morning of June 6. They found a catalog of deficiencies in navigation and safety equipment, together with significant non-compliance with the ISM Code. These included not having correct navigation charts or voyage plan, incorrect stability calculations, navigation equipment not working and defects with lifesaving equipment.

The vessel was subsequently detained and its safety certificate canceled.

Upon investigation and questioning by the MCA’s Investigation & Enforcement Unit, Captain Trofimov admitted the failures and deficiencies.

In sentencing, the District Judge said:”Many of the failures were down to yourself. You are responsible for all those onboard and those on the high seas, that is why this is high culpability.”

The MCA’s Lead Investigator Mark Flavell said: “This was an extremely serious breach of the ISM Code. In this case, the captain showed complete disregard for the safety of his vessel and crew operating the vessel. The intention was for this vessel to carry 1,665 tons of oil to Finland, which could have had disastrous human and environmental consequences. We hope that today’s prosecution demonstrates that we will prosecute those who endanger themselves, others and the environment in this way. Our message is clear – there is no room for complacency where safety is concerned.”

The vessel will not be released until the fines and costs have been paid.

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