Former Chief Mate Sentenced to Prison in Oil Dumping Case

MV Murcia Carrier file photo (c) MarineTraffic.com/
MV Murcia Carrier file photo (c) MarineTraffic.com/Charles Loughlin

 

The former chief mate of the Panama-flagged reefer MV Murcia Carrier has been sentenced to three months in prison for failing to maintain an accurate oil record book in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS).

The sentence was handed down to Valerii Georgiev, 42, a Russian citizen, by the Honorable Joseph Rodriguez, the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division for the District of New Jersey.

During his trial, it was found that on April 27, 2014, Georgiev ordered other crew members on board the Murcia Carrier to dump overboard several barrels containing some hydraulic oil. While Georgiev disputes the number of barrels dumped into the sea, the government believes that approximately 20 barrels of hydraulic oil were dumped overboard.

The dumping occurred in international waters off the coast of Florida while the vessel was in transit from Costa Rica to New Jersey, and the discharges were then never recorded in the ship’s oil record book. During the course of the Coast Guard boarding, Georgiev denied that dumping occurred and instructed crew members on board the vessel to deny that dumping had occurred.

APPS requires vessels to maintain a record known as an oil record book in which all transfers and disposals of oil-contaminated waste, including the discharge overboard of such waste, must be fully and accurately recorded.

On June 17, 2015, Norbulk Shipping UK Ltd, a company in Glasgow, United Kingdom and operator of the M/V Murcia Carrier pleaded guilty failing to maintain an accurate oil record logbook and providing false statements with respect to the vessel’s garbage record book. The company was sentenced to pay a fine of $750,000 and placed on probation for three years.