The chief engineer of a Liberian cargo ship received one year of probation for lying and presenting falsified documents to the U.S. Coast Guard to hide oil pollution.
In February, the Coast Guard examined a ship while it was in the Delaware Bay to determine its compliance with the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, according to federal court documents.
Inspectors found the crew would trick an oil monitoring sensor because it could not filter oily bilge water exceeding the limit from the vessel’s bilge holding tank. Then-chief engineer Vasileios Mazarakis asked one of the crew members to cut the flange and not tell anyone about it, court documents said.
Court documents say the Coast Guard also found documents dating back to 2018 that were signed by Mazarakis indicating the boat was discharging 18,095 gallons of bilge material into the ocean.
While being interviewed by inspectors, Mazarakis said the crew wasn’t throwing oily waste into the ocean, according to court documents.
The companies that owned the cargo ship, Nederland Shipping Co. and Chartworld Shipping Co., pleaded guilty on Oct. 15 to presenting falsified documents and not notifying the coast guard of the boat’s hazardous condition. The companies were issued a $1.8 million fine.