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Greek Shipping Company Sentenced for Intentional Cover-Up of Oil Pollution

Penalty of $2 Million Ilios Shipping Company S.A. was sentenced yesterday in federal court in New Orleans for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and obstruction of justice, announced Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno and Jim Letten, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana.Ilios operated the M/V Agios Emilianos, a 738 foot, 36,573 ton bulk carrier cargo ship that hauled grain from New Orleans to various ports around the world. According to the plea agreement, from April 2009 until April 2011, oily bilge waste and sludge was routinely discharged from the vessel directly into the sea without the use of required pollution prevention equipment. During that time, the crew intentionally covered up the illegal discharges of oil waste by falsifying the vessel's oil record book. The master of the vessel, Valentino Mislang, previously pleaded guilty to and was sentenced for conspiracy to obstruct justice for his role in destroying evidence and instructing crewmembers to lie to the Coast Guard during an inspection of the vessel in April 2011. According to Mislang, a senior manager of Ilios directed the destruction of computer records and ordered Mislang to tell crewmembers to lie to the Coast Guard.The chief ...

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Dockworker Pensions in Jeopardy While Greek Ferries Remain at Anchor

48-hour strike action in opposition to social security reforms Greece's ferries remained anchored at the country's ports Monday as dockworkers launched rolling 48-hour strike action in opposition to social security reforms and deregulation of the industry.The strike risks cutting off the country's dozens of inhabited islands from critical food and medical supplies, while farmers on Crete have threatened to break the strike later this week in an effort to ship their goods to the mainland.The Panhellenic Seamen's Federation is opposing a government move to merge its supplementary pension fund with a unified auxiliary fund and implement stricter control of healthcare spending in the sector, arguing it will lead to sharply lower quality of service for recipients."Greek dockworkers will strongly defend their labor and social security achievements from the government's merciless and savage attack and will not allow for the complete extinction of a profession with thousands of years of history," it said in a statement.With Greece under enormous pressure from international creditors to reduce its budget deficit, the government has decided on reforms to the dockworker's fund which is heavily subsidized by the state.Figures from the Labor Ministry show that just over EUR1 billion of budget outlays are earmarked every ...

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Filipino government officials in Greece urge ship owners to invest in Philippines

Philippines ranks fourth among the largest shipbuilding nations in the world Filipino government officials in Greece urged shipowners to invest and take advantage of the booming shipbuilding industry in the Philippines.Philippine Ambassador to Greece Meynardo Montealegre urged the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), the oldest and largest organization of shipowners there, to consider putting up operations in the Philippines.Montealegre noted that shipbuilding and ship repair cost in the Philippines, as well as the efficiency and experience of workers, is comparable to its neighboring countries.The Philippines ranks fourth among the largest shipbuilding nations in the world after South Korea, China, and Japan.The Philippines is also one of the world's major suppliers of mariners, Montealegre said.In a meeting with UGS resident Theodoros Veniamis, Montealegre said the Philippines and Greece both have a strong maritime tradition.In turn, Veniamis invited the Philippines to promote its shipbuilding and ship repair industry in the upcoming "Posidonia 2012," one of the largest maritime exhibitions held every two years in Greece.At the end of their meeting, Montealegre and Veniamis agreed to strengthen further the cooperation between the Philippines and Greece on the shipping industry.Source: GMA News

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US-flagged ship on fire off Greece’s Piraeus port

28 people onboard Fire has broken out on a US-flagged vehicle carrier ship carrying 28 people off the country's main port of Piraeus, Greek authorities said.A coast guard statement says firefighting ships are trying to extinguish the blaze on the Alliance Norfolk. There are 23 crew members and five passengers on board.The cause of Monday's blaze was not immediately clear.The 57,000-ton, 200-meter (yard) vessel was en route from the United States to Saudi Arabia with a consignment of cars and had moored for an inspection just off Piraeus, the port of Athens.Source: AP

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Greek tanker sinks, captain dead

'Alpha 1' refuelling tanker sank off the Athens region's Elefsina refineries The captain of a Greek tanker was killed when his ship, carrying more than 2,000 tonnes of oil and diesel, sank west of Athens on Monday, coastguard officials said.The other 10 members of the crew were rescued and safe, the officials said."The 48-year-old Greek captain was just found dead," one coastguard official said.The "Alpha 1" refuelling tanker, which sank off the Athens region's Elefsina refineries, was carrying 1,800 tonnes of crude oil and 235 tonnes of diesel when it foundered at around 10.30 a.m. (0830 GMT).Source: Reuters

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Master pled guilty today to operating a commercial vessel under the influence of alcohol

One year probation and a $500 fine The Vessel Master of the M/V Laconia pled guilty to operating a commercial vessel under the influence of alcohol on the Columbia River. Georgios Choulis pled guilty and was sentenced by the Honorable Marco Hernandez to one year probation and a $500 fine. Choulis is also prohibited from sailing in any capacity on waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States for one year.Choulis was charged by information with negligent operation of a commercial vessel, a class A misdemeanor. Choulis was the only licensed Vessel Master on the M/V Laconia, a 736 foot commercial vessel, sailing under the flag of Malta. M/V Laconia was attempting to cross the Columbia Bar, one of the most dangerous bars in the world, when the Coast Guard and a pilot from the Columbia River Bar Pilots Association boarded the M/V Laconia to assist in crossing the bar. Choulis was not present for the crossing and was instead found sleeping in his berth with a strong odor of alcoholic beverages surrounding him. Coast Guard officials observed an almost empty bottle of scotch and the defendant appeared to be slurring his words. A breathalyzer test indicated Choulis had ...

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Greek tanker sinks off Athens, one missing

Carrying more than 2,000 tonnes - no oil spill reported A Greek tanker carrying more than 2,000 tonnes of oil and diesel sank west of Athens on Monday and one person on board was unaccounted for, authorities said, adding that no oil spills had been spotted so far.Officials said the ship, which sank off the Athens region's Elefsina refineries, was carrying 1,800 tonnes of crude oil and 235 tonnes of diesel when it foundered at around 10.30 a.m. (0830 GMT) on Monday.It may have sunk after hitting an old shipwreck, one coastguard official said, adding that there were no signs of any oil spill or pollution so far.Ten members of the 11-strong crew were rescued and the search was continuing for the missing crewmember, believed to be the captain, the coast guard said.Source: Reuters

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Greece is Open for Business: Posidonia and Greek Shipping Send Confident Message to the World

On 4-8 June 2012 The presence of thousands of participants from some 80 countries, the move to a state-of-the-art venue offering exhibitors excellent facilities and many opportunities to promote their business and the staging for the first time of a series of top level conferences and seminars concurrently with the exhibition, will confirm Posidonia 2012 exhibition as the most important event in the international maritime and business calendar.This year's Posidonia will also be good news for Greece. It will project a positive image of Greece and send a strong message to the world at large that Greece has success stories to celebrate and that the unique achievement of the Greek shipping industry on the world stage and in the field of sea transportation, is one of them.Global shipping is gradually overcoming the gloomy international economic outlook as the organisers of industry flagship event Posidonia 2012 have revealed growth in exhibitor numbers for the next event to take place from 4-8 June 2012 in the state-of-the-art new Metropolitan Expo, located by the new Athens International Airport. The projected increase is buoyed by the stronger participation of traditional shipbuilding nations and engine and equipment exporters, all vying for a bigger slice of ...

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Greece approves bill on piracy

Regarding armed guards onboard The bill to combat piracy in the sea-going ships, adopted at the cabinet meeting yesterday, under Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.The bill sets out the main lines and procedures for a license to be given in order armed groups to embark on ships and also set outs the rights of seafarers, the use of weapons, bans on Greece and penalties.According to the bill, authorization for the use of armed guards onboard should be given after request of the ship owner. Guards should have the appropriate certification, to be above 21 years old, to have no convictions and not be crew members.In case there is no compliance with the necessary requirements, the decision may be revoked by the chief of the Coast Guard and is valid for six and twelve months, with the charges of a special fee and the right for an extension.The armed group is under the authority of the master, who will have access to arms onboard.The use of weapons and arms may be prohibited if there is an official decision, mandated by the Headquarters of the Coast Guard - Coast Guard Greek or Greek or any other military authority.Any crew member does not ...

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