MCA: Captain of Russian Tanker Fined over Safety Failures

Illustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

Captain of the Russian oil tanker Tecoil Polaris was fined over GBP 25,700 (USD 34,300) for breaching the International Safety Management (ISM) Code.

Vitaliy Trofimov, Captain of the 85-meter-long tanker, pleaded guilty to serious non-compliance of safety requirements which placed the vessel – to be loaded with 1,665 tonnes of lubrication oil – at risk.

In a prosecution brought by the UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA), on June 14, 2018, the Captain was fined GBP 1,400 and ordered to pay GBP 24,361 in costs.

The 2,821 dwt vessel arrived at Humber Port on the evening of 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.

MCA Inspectors inspected the vessel on June 6 and found a catalogue of deficiencies in navigation and safety equipment, together with significant non-compliance 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, according to the MCA.

Upon investigation and questioning by the MCA’s Investigation & Enforcement Unit, Captain Trofimov admitted the failures and deficiencies.

“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,” Mark Flavell, MCA’s Lead Investigator, said.

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

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