By Mark Edward Nero
On August 18, United States District of Hawaii Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi accepted the guilty plea of a South Korean maritime operations company and sentenced the company to a $275,000 fine and three years’ probation for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by failing to maintain an accurate oil record book.
It was Doorae Shipping Co.’s second conviction by a US court this year.
The information to which Doorae most recently pled guilty is regarding the company’s operation of the marine vessel B. Pacific, a petroleum oil tank ship registered under the flag administration of the Marshall Islands.
Information produced to the court established that from between July 8, 2016, through July 14, 2016, during a Port State Control examination conducted by the US Coast Guard, employees of Doorae Shipping presented the B. Pacific’s oil record book to representatives of the Coast Guard knowing that it failed to document or acknowledge that about 5,400 gallons of oil-contaminated bilge water had been stored in an unapproved void space neither designated nor appropriate for the storage of oil and other ship generated liquids.
Additionally, the oil record book also failed to document the location of about 8,400 gallons of machinery space oil-contaminated bilge water.
It was just four months ago, in April 2016, that Doorae Shipping was convicted and sentenced to pay $950,000 in fines and penalties for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships after committing another criminal violation of the act.
“This failure to properly follow the law with respect to maintaining an accurate and truthful oil record book requires another conviction and sentence commensurate with Doorae’s conduct,” United States attorney for the District of Hawaii Florence Nakakuni said.
“Environmental crimes are a serious threat to the health of our oceans,” said Capt. Mike Long, Coast Guard captain of the port for Honolulu. “This case sends a clear message that violators will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted.”