Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE:DSX) said this week that its subsidiary, Diana Shipping Services, has been sentenced to pay a $1.1 million fine and serve 3.5 years probation after being found guilty earlier this year of charges stemming from illegally discharging waste oil and oil-contaminated waste water from the bulk carrier, M/V Thetis.
In August, Chief Engineer and 2nd Engineer of the MV Thetis, along with owner Diana Shipping Services, were convicted of conspiracy, knowing failure to fully maintain an oil record book, falsification of records and concealing tangible objects in a federal investigation after being caught using a “magic pipe” by Coast Guard inspectors at the port of Norfolk in September 2012. The Chief Engineer of the vessel was also convicted of obstruction of justice for ordering crewmembers to lie to U.S. Coast Guard inspectors on board the ship about the MARPOL violations.
Diana Shipping Services originally faced a maximum fine of $5.5 million and five years of probation for the conviction.
The Director and Treasurer of Diana Shipping Services, Ioannis Zafirakis, told the court that the company has previously undertaken a comprehensive review of its existing Management System and operations, and implemented an Enhanced Environmental Management System, or EEMS, to ensure that all of the vessels managed by DSS are operated in accordance with applicable maritime environmental laws and regulations.
Zafirakis also noted that the EEMS has been independently audited and certified as being ISO 14001 compliant and that environmental compliance will continue to be given utmost priority by Diana Shipping Services S.A. He added that DSS intends to continue to transform its corporate culture and operations to make certain that it is a model in the maritime industry for environmental compliance.