Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Police Arrest Barrier Reef Crash Officers

Appearance in Court Scheduled for Tomorrow
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have arrested two men in connection with the grounding of the Chinese bulk carrier Shen Neng I , which ran onto the Great Barrier Reef on the 3rd of April causing two tonnes of oil fuel to be spilt.

The men, who the AFP alleges were the master and the officer on watch at the time of the collision, are to appear in Gladstone Court tomorrow for arraignment.

According to a press statement from the AFP: “The master of the vessel, a 47-year-old Chinese man has been charged with liability for vessel causing damage in Marine Park, contrary to section 38FC of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975. The maximum penalty for this offence is a $55,000 fine.

“A 44-year-old Chinese man has been charged as person in charge of a vessel within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, causing damage to the Marine Park, contrary to section 38DA of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975. The maximum penalty for this offence is three years imprisonment and/or a $220,000 fine.”

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which is responsible for the international renowned ecological site, states that the ship has left a three-kilometre long scar on the reef from the impact.

The Shen Neng I remains at anchor after being successfully refloated on Monday.

(pic: Damage to the Douglas Shoals Reef. Courtesy of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority)