In its 57th issue CHIRP pays attention to deliberate acts of pollution allegedly carried out on a nightly basis on board a vessel, as reported by a member of the engine room crew.
In fact, the reporter told CHIRP that has observed every MARPOL violation on the ship, adding that
At night, the crew throw overboard every kind of waste oil, sludge, bilges, used rags and other garbage including plastic and cans.
The reporter further says that the oily water separator and incinerator did not work and in order to get clear reports at annual surveys, they managed to pay a bribe to the surveyor. The Chief Engineer told to do these things, as ordered by the Master.
The reporter who states that has proof of crane waste oil being dumped into the Black Sea further stated that a large fee had been paid by himself to a seafarer’s employment agency to secure his berth on the ship.
CHIRP notes that the reporter’s vessel is on both the Paris MOU Blacklist and Tokyo MOU Grey List, being considered high risk, as indicated by a flag with a high detention rate following inspection, trading in the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea, identifying some pollution astern.
Moreover, the reporter said that the owner of the ship also owned two other vessels and that on each vessel 4 or 5 seafarers from his home country had paid up to $8000 for a berth and were being used as oilers and wipers rather than in their designated positions.
CHIRP advised the reporter, who was very concerned about his safety and that of the other seafarers on board the three ships, to contact the ITF and ISWAN and further offered to pass on his report to either or both organizations, yet the reporter has not expressed any instruction.
After CHIRP contacted the flag state administration of the reporter’s ship and received an immediate response, informing that one of their inspectors attended the named vessel and carried out an inspection to ascertain the validity of the report.
The inspection in particular found no evidence to support the reporter’s allegations and in every way the vessel appeared to be operating in compliance with all appropriate rules and regulations.
The members of the MAB highlighted the prompt and positive engagement by the flag state administration and the fact that a flag state inspection was carried out in response to the report forwarded by CHIRP.
Whatsoever, the MAB members add that the inspector’s report may have recorded no evidence of pollution but that alone does not prove that acts of pollution did not take place.
It is also remarked that for the sake of good order, a dis-identified copy of the initial report was be passed to EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency) for their attention as they have access to satellite monitoring facilities with hours of darkness capabilities.
Recently, theUS Department of Treasury proceeded to blacklisting two shipping firms and many vessels, including one Greek tanker, in light of the US sanctions on Venezuela. The two blacklisted companies are Ballito Bay Shipping and ‘ProPer In Management Inc.’ of Athens, both sharing the same address in Piraeus. Specifically, the Greek tanker was identified as the Despina Adrianna, a 70,000 dwt crude tanker belonging to Ballito Bay Shipping and operated by ProPer In Management.
Moreover, in 2018, a German shipping company was sentenced in Portland, Maine, for obstruction of justice and for maintaining false official records to conceal deliberate pollution from its ship ‘Marguerita’, according to data provided by the US Coast Guard. The company was fined $3.2 million and ordered to serve a four-year term of probation.
According to documents filed in court, MST discharged oily bilge waste from the Marguerita through the use of a so-called “magic pipe” that bypasses required pollution prevention equipment. The discharges violated MARPOL and were not recorded in the vessel’s oil record book, a required ship log regularly inspected by the US Coast Guard to assure compliance.