The Croatian captain of a Norwegian tanker faced criminal charges after U.S. Coast Guard inspectors found his ship, carrying fertilizer, had a leak when it sailed into Baltimore, officials said on Thursday.
The Freja Jutlandic, owned by the Danish Progress line, was taking on water when the tanker arrived at Baltimore with a cargo of urea ammonium nitrate on March 22 on a voyage from Norway to Tampa, Florida.
The Coast Guard said it was tipped off to the leak by a frightened crew member
who slipped a handwritten note to an inspector. Officials later found a dime-sized hole in the hull of the 6,300-ton vessel.
The U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore said Capt. Davor Maric was charged with failing to report dangerous conditions under the 1972 U.S. Ports and Waterways Safety Act and with making false statements to federal authorities. He could spend five years in prison if convicted.