Posted on September 23, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Captain and the Chief Officer of the UK-flagged Cargo Ship, EMILIE BULKER were fined for having provided false information to Maritime NZ during an investigation on an accident that occurred on the vessel on September the 6th.
The accident originally occurred on September the 6th while the vessel was docked at the Port of Tauranga, New Zealand. A crewman was working at the hold, which was filled with palm kernel, when they passed out due to a lack of oxygen in the poorly ventilated hold.
The unconscious crewman was then taken into Tauranga Hospital, where he was placed in a medically induced coma. Thankfully he recovered fully and was discharged on September the 10th.
Maritime NZ proceeded to investigate the incident. However, during the investigation, both the Captain and the Chief Officer were found to have provided false information to the authorities, claiming that the assessment and testing of the gas levels in the cargo-hold showed that the hold was safe to work in.
During a hearing at the Wellington District Court on September the 19th, Captain Walter Damian and Chief Officer Ian Dalingding both pleaded guilty to the charges and were fined a combined total of NZ$25,000 (Approx. $15,700).
Specifically, the Captain and Chief Officer both admitted to providing false information to Maritime NZ while the Captain further admitted to permitting dangerous activity onboard his vessel.
A reparation payment of NZ$10,000 (Approx. $6,300) for emotional harm has been awarded to the unfortunate seafarer.
International Maritime law requires vessels to have a safety management system that includes safety procedures for entering enclosed spaces. Furthermore these areas must be evaluated for risk, and said risk has to be effectively managed.