A German company that is a box ship fleet owner and the engineer in charge of the containership Donald, a bulk carrier that was built in 1974, have been sanctioned for illegally dumping oil in the ocean and failing to register the pollution.
Chief engineer Denys Korotkiy of the vessel Donald was sentenced to serve twelve months and a day in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, and failure to maintain an accurate oil record book.
U.S. District Court Judge Todd W. Robinson for the Southern District of California sentenced Korotkiy.
Trial evidence showed that oily bilge water – typically containing oil contamination from cleaning and operating a vessel’s machinery – was illegally dumped from the Donald, without being legally recorded, directly into the ocean through the vessel’s sewage tank and not properly processed through the required pollution prevention equipment.
“Unlawful oil discharges can cause immeasurable harm to the marine environment,” said Randy S. Grossman, who was United States Attorney for the Southern District of California when the case was prosecuted. “We will continue to work closely with our agency partners to safeguard our oceans by vigorous enforcement of environmental laws.”
Korotkiy made false and fictitious entries in the oil record book claiming oily bilge had been transferred from the engine room bilge wells to the bilge holding tank.
He also conspired with others to obstruct the U.S. Coast Guard from inspecting and investigating the mishandling of oily bilge water on the Donald.
Vessel operating company Interunity Management (Deutschland) GMBH previously pleaded guilty for maintaining false and incomplete records relating to the discharge of oily bilge water and was ordered to pay a total of $1.25 million, including more than $312,000 to benefit marine and coastal natural resources in or near the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Haden for the Southern District of California made the announcement.
The U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego and the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service investigated the case.