Energy Voice | Captain of Russian oil tanker punished by UK court over vessel’s ‘catalogue of deficiencies’

A UK court doled out a more than £25,000 fine to the Captain of a Russian oil tanker yesterday after a number of “extremely serious” safety failures were discovered aboard his vessel.

Hull Magistrates Court fined Vitaliy Trofimov, Captain of the Russian registered 278 foot long tanker, Tecoil Polaris, for breaching the International Safety Management (ISM) Code in a prosecution brought by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Mr Trofimov pleaded guilty to ‘serious non-compliance of safety requirements’  which placed the vessel under his care ‘at risk’.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency say the vessel arrived a Humber Point on Tuesday 5 June 2018 from Finland and was inspected on 6 June 2018.

Upon inspection it was discovered that the vessel held a “catalogue of deficiencies” such as 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.

Once investigated 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.”

The vessel will not be released until the fines and costs have been paid.

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