Greek Oil Tanker Owner Ordered by US Court to Pay $2.25 Million for Ocean Pollution

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A Rhode Island court has ordered the owner of a Greek oil tanker to pay $2.25 million for discharging oil bilge water into the ocean and failing to report a hazardous condition during a trans-Atlantic voyage.

U.S. District Judge Mary McElroy on Aug. 8 sentenced Zeus Lines Management S.A., which owns the tanker Gallissas, to pay $1.68 million in fines and an additional $562,500 community service payment over safety and environmental violations aboard the tanker bound for the United States.

The community service payment will go to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to fund projects that benefit Rhode Island's marine and coastal natural resources.

When the Coast Guard was informed, it found that oxygen levels registered more than double the allowable limit and ordered the vessel to move farther offshore so it did not endanger the community of Newport.

Fraudulent Logbook

Additionally, the captain created a fraudulent logbook showing safe oxygen levels during the voyage, which was presented to the Coast Guard during an inspection.

“Everyday thousands of ships safely call on U.S. ports and handle nearly 95% of US trade that drives our economy and provides for our national security. By sailing into a major U.S. port with a known faulty inert gas generator, the operator, and senior officers of the Galissas endangered not only their shipmates but also the people of Rhode Island,” Rear Adm. John Mauger, Commander of the First Coast Guard District said in a May 3 statement.

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