Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) surveyors inspect Sea Shepherd Australia’s 'Sam Simon' and interview crew in Williamstown.
AMSA's interest stems from reports of a number of alleged incidents in the Southern Ocean in February 2013.
'Sam Simon' is the only Australian-flagged (registered) vessel involved in the reported incidents which included reports of collisions and pollution by vessels and is subject to Australian law.
The investigation will include an inspection of the Sam Simon, examination of available documents and records, and interviews with crew. If sufficient evidence of a breach of the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) is found, AMSA may refer a brief of evidence to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for consideration of prosecution under the Navigation Act 1912.
AMSA surveyors will also assess any available evidence regarding reports that vessels may have spilled diesel into the sea.
AMSA add that any information collected that is related to foreign-flagged vessels (registered in other countries [Japan]) will be referred to the relevant maritime authorities of the countries in which the ships are registered, which is in accordance with international law.