Thursday, October 22, 2020

Captain of fuel-leak tanker fined by Sri Lanka court

Captain of fuel-leak tanker fined by Sri Lanka court

The captain of a fire-damaged supertanker that leaked fuel off the coast of Sri Lanka has been fined 12 million rupees ($65,000) for causing the spill and failing to inform officials of the environmental damage.

The Panamanian-registered New Diamond, travelling from Kuwait to India with 270,000 tonnes of crude oil, was passing by Sri Lanka’s east coast when the fire broke out at the start of September.

Firefighters succeeded in putting out the blaze, and the crude remained unaffected but some of the tanker’s fuel leaked.

The captain, Steiros Ilias Kardany, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the two counts and was ordered to pay 12 million rupees.

The Chairman of the Marine Environment Protection Agency (MEPA) said carcasses of at least four porpoises and a dozen turtles had washed ashore in the eastern and southern areas of the island after the spill.

“We have taken tissue samples and sent for analysis,” Dharshani Lahandapura told AFP. “We suspect that these sea mammals died as a result of the oil spill from the tanker.”

State prosecutors told the Colombo High Court Wednesday that about 400 to 480 tonnes of fuel had leaked, causing a spill that stretched 40 kilometres (25 miles).

The vessel was towed to the United Arab Emirates after the owners paid Sri Lanka $2.38 million for putting out the fire.

The blaze started after an engine room boiler exploded, killing one crew member. The remaining crew of 22, including the skipper, were rescued and are currently in Sri Lanka.

The court ordered that he could leave the island after paying the fine.

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Turkey restarts hunt for Mediterranean gas, reigniting Greek row

Ankara, Turkey (AFP) Oct 12, 2020

Turkey will redeploy the research ship at the centre of an energy row with Greece to the eastern Mediterranean on Monday, a decision slammed by Athens as a “direct threat to peace”.

The row over gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean saw the two NATO countries stage rival military drills in August in strategic waters between Cyprus and the Greek island of Crete.

Greece claims rights over the waters around its island of Kastellorizo but Turkey says its longer coastline makes the territory a … read more

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