The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California said that the owner of a foreign freighter pled guilty to grossly negligent operation of a vessel and was fined $50,000. In addition, the owner agreed to pay $100,000 to a local fund for environmental restoration projects and to institute an environmental compliance program. The owner admitted that, during a trans-Atlantic voyage to North America in September 2006, several small cracks and rust holes were identified on the starboard side of the main deck. These were repaired by welding. Soon after, two large cracks
were discovered on the port side of the main deck. These cracks were taped over and the tape was painted to blend in with the deck (it must have been rust-colored paint). In November, the ship arrived in San Francisco Bay and Coast Guard port state control boarding officers discovered the deficiencies.
Source: HK Law