The captain of a cargo vessel named Vera Su that had been stranded close to Kamen Bryag on Bulgaria’s Black Sea in 2021’s September has been sentenced to three years of imprisonment. He has also been suspended from service for the next five years.
On14 February, the District Court in Dobrich had upheld a plea bargain between the ship’s captain and the prosecutors. The captain pleaded guilty to the charges of massive property damage and for posing risks to other individuals.
The 59-year-old ship captain named Haidar Ergun was asked to pay for court costs estimated to be around 7203 leva.
Prosecutors reported that a prior investigation had proven that on 20 September 2021, the Turkish-crewed and Panamanian-flagged Vera Su reportedly ran aground after its ship captain permitted the vessel to keep sailing without an operational system for bridge watch. In the night, there was just one duty commander and no lookout.
It could even be possible that it was deliberate, per prosecutors. The ship’s captain has, however, decided not to make an appeal against the current court ruling.
The vessel was successfully towed to Varna, the Black Sea port in Bulgaria over a month since it had run aground. Bulgaria is now fighting for compensation from the vessel’s owner.
Vera Su’s first mate’s indictment is still pending. A pre-trial process is currently progressing in two others areas, per the Prosecutor’s Office. These are whether seawater was polluted, the environment was damaged, or whether actions by relevant bodies had been prompt and accurate.