Tanker Captain Fined for Safety Violations
The captain of a Russian oil tanker is forced to pay £25,761.99 (more than $34,300) in the U.K. for breaching the International Safety Management (ISM) Code in a prosecution brought by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA).
Vitaliy Trofimov, Captain of the Russian registered 85-meter-long tanker Tecoil Polaris, pleaded guilty at Hull Magistrates Court on Thursday to a number of safety failures which placed the vessel – to be loaded with 1,665 metric tons of lubrication oil – at risk. He was fined £1,400 and ordered to pay £24,361.99 in costs.
The vessel arrived at Humber Port on the evening of Tuesday, June 5, 2018 having come from Hamina, Finland. Humber Port Authority reported concerns about the master and crew’s competency as the vessel approached and berthed at Immingham Docks, Humber.
When the vessel was inspected on the morning of June 6, MCA Inspectors discovered a catalogue of deficiencies in navigation and safety equipment, together with significant noncompliance with the ISM Code. These included not having correct navigation charts or voyage plan, incorrect stability calculations, navigation equipment not working and defects with lifesaving equipment. The vessel was subsequently detained and its safety certificate cancelled.
Upon investigation and questioning by the MCA’s Investigation & Enforcement Unit, Captain Trofimov admitted the failures and deficiencies.
In sentencing, the District Judge said, “Many of the failures were down to yourself. You are responsible for all those onboard and those on the high seas, that is why this is high culpability.”
The MCA’s Lead Investigator Mark Flavell said, “This was an extremely serious breach of the ISM Code. In this case, the captain showed complete disregard for the safety of his vessel and crew operating the vessel. The intention was for this vessel to carry 1,665 tons of oil to Finland, which could have had disastrous human and environmental consequences.
“We hope that today’s prosecution demonstrates that we will prosecute those who endanger themselves, others and the environment in this way. Our message is clear – there is no room for complacency where safety is concerned.”
Tecoil Polaris will not be released until the fines and costs have been paid.