Taiwanese Captain Arrested in Australia

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 15, 2015

Photo: China Steel Developer

Photo: China Steel Developer

The Australian Federal Police have arrested the captain of a Chinese coal ship -China Steel Developer- for sailing through part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park without a pilot. 

 
Sources said that the captain — a Taiwanese national by the name of Lu — will plead guilty to a charge of being the master of a ship without a pilot in the marine park, an offence that carries a maximum fine of $85,000.
 
It is alleged that the vessel sailed through Hydrographers Passage near Mackay on New Year’s Day without a pilot, as required by Australian law.
 
ABC News reports that the ship is believed to have carried a cargo of coal to China before returning to Australia last week. 
 
Lu was arrested on Saturday and will appear in Newcastle Court on Monday. 
 
Around 4,000 ships traverse the paths through the Great Barrier Reef marine park every year. 
 
In 2010, a Chinese bulk coal carrier, the Shen Neng 1, ran aground in the Great Barrier Reef after veering outside a shipping lane. The grounding caused a heavy fuel oil leak that spanned four kilometers and carved a scar into Douglas Shoal.
 
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