Cyprus-Based Firm Fined For Dumping Oily Water In Atlantic

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A Cyprus-based company was ordered to pay a $2 million fine Thursday after pleading guilty to charges that one of its ships dumped oily water into the Atlantic Ocean, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced.

The crew of a ship operated by Diana Wilhelmsen Management Limited knowingly failed last year to record in the ship’s oil record book the overboard discharge of oily bilge water, prosecutors said in a news release. The M/V Protefs arrived in New Orleans on June 1, 2020, with a knowingly false oil record book, prosecutors said.

The crew used an emergency de-watering system to illegally discharge oily water directly into the Atlantic Ocean from the ship’s bilge holding tank, duct keel, and bilge wells, and did not record it in the oil record book as required, prosecutors said.

The chief engineer pleaded guilty in December 2020 to making a false statement to U.S. Coast Guard inspectors about the existence of a sounding log, which is routinely sought by inspectors in order to determine the accuracy of the oil record book.

DWM received four years of probation, a fine of $2 million and supervision under an environmental compliance plan.