YEAR OF THE SEAFARER | Full City senior officers convicted

The captain and first mate of the Cosco bulker Full City that ran aground and spilled oil off Norway have received jail terms following their trial.

Master Zong Aming and his colleague Oilanng Lu had pleaded not guilty in a Telemark court.

But Zong was sentenced to six months in prison after being convicted of breaches of the Pollution Control and Ship Safety and Security Acts. Four months [of his time] will be suspended.

The first mate was found not guilty of breaching the Ship Safety act, but received a two-month term for offences under pollution legislation. Five weeks of his sentence are suspended.

Both were put on probation for two years.

Their lawyer, Brynjar Ostgard, told Norwegian media they would be appealing the court’s verdict.

The story

The 26,800-dwt ship, built in 1995, went aground off Langesund on 30 July last year.

An estimated 300 tonnes of fuel oil was spilled in the accident after it dragged its anchor while sheltering from a storm.

The prosecution contended the ship failed to respond to weather warnings and that the officers delayed making contact with emergency services once the danger became apparent.

Lawyers for the charged pair said that a coincidence of unfortunate circumstances involving weather, technical issues and advice given to the ship on anchorage by the coastal authorities led to the grounding.

The two men were initially detained in Norway for almost six months before being freed to return to China in December on condition that they appeared at the trial.

Source: TRADEWINDS.NO

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