Captain Of Vessel Alaskaborg Fined Over Oil Spill In The Atlantic

A Dutch-flagged general cargo vessel, the Alaskaborg, owned by Wagenborg, leaked oil into the Atlantic for over 12 hours. This was confirmed via the most recent ruling by the Dutch Maritime Disciplinary Court. The court found that the ship captain and the chief engineer were at fault and suspended their licenses for eight weeks for each and fined both €2,000.

The decision was made based on the fact that the captain of the ship and the chief engineer could not identify the seriousness of the situation wherein the 2012-built vessel caught itself in February 2022.

Oil Spill
Representation Image

Namely, the vessel sailed from Baie Comeau in Canada on 7 February 2022 toward Rotterdam.

The cargo comprised crushed anodes of carbon that were divided between two holds. When loading Alaskaborg, it had been snowing quite hard. When loading hold one, it was snowing less than while loading hold two.

On 9 February 2022, an alarm rang in the bilge well portside forward of hold two. At that time, the vessel was moving south of Newfoundland, with the ship captain and its chief engineer concluding that the leading cause for this alarm was melting snow or the water ingress. Due to the conditions, it was decided not to step into the hold for examination, and the bilge ejector was activated simultaneously and kept on until the weather got better.

The bilge ejector was turned on for more than 12 hours. However, on examination, it became obvious that one hole in the fuel tank 7SB was the reason for the alarm going off.

This indicates that the oil slipped into the cargo hold and the bilge well portside and ended up overboard. On calculations, it was later established that the vessel lost about 54.7 cbm of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO), a part spilling into the Atlantic. The Canadian Coast Guard, at the time of this incident, reported that about 30,000 litres of VLFSO had spilled in the ocean.

The leak was brought about by the impairment to the vessel’s fuel tank coupled with rings of a deck’s hatch breaking and then, the hatch subsequently dropping into the hold and piercing the tank.


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