$40 million dumping fine
for Princess Cruises

1280px-caribbean_princess_at_st-_thomas_usvi_lucidAfter pleading guilty to illegally dumping oil at sea, and then trying to cover it up, Carnival’s Princess Cruises was recently fined $40 million. This latest incident involved Caribbean Princess, following information gathered by the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) from an unhappy engineer aboard the vessel when it arrived at Southampton in August 2016.

The MCA shared the information with the US Coast Guard, who inspected Caribbean Princess when it arrived at New York in September 2016. The Chief Engineer and Senior First Engineer had hidden the apparatus used, and made the other engineers agree to lie about the methods. However the Coast Guard established that the dumping had been going on since 2005, initially using an unauthorised valve to dump waste, and later using a “magic pipe”. One of the worst incidents was the dumping of over 4,000 gallons of oil whilst only 23 miles off the English coast.

Similar practices were found on four other Princess ships, and included routinely clearing oily bilge water and bilge waste whilst near land.

ocean_hopeThis court action followed a similar case in October, when two German shipping companies, part of Bockstiegel Reederei, pleaded guilty in the US federal court to illegally dumping waste and were fined $750,000. And in September two Greek shipping companies, Oceanic and Oceanfleet, were convicted of illegal dumping oily waste in the Pacific. In March 2016 two other German companies, part of Briese Schiffahrts, were similarly fined $1.25 million plus a $250,000 community service charge for using a “magic pipe” to discharge oily waste.

The US Environmental Protection Agency is continuously checking all vessels in US waters in attempt to improve water quality and the environment.

Brahe (ex-USS PCE-830) sold to become museum ship

13ea5eb7-0308-4c2c-9580-605698b549f7Originally built in 1943 as US patrol craft escort/submarine chaser PCE-830 by Pullman-Standard in Chicago, she was transferred the following year to the Royal Navy and renamed HMS Kilchrenan. After war service, in 1946 she was briefly returned to the US navy, as USS Kilchrenan before being sold in 1947 to HSD in Bergen, Norway. She was rebuilt for use as a local freight and coastal passenger ship and renamed Sunnhordland.

1399682_1441301606093098_1280000435_o-1In 1973 she was laid up and then sold the following year to Oy Fager Lines of Helsinki and renamed Kristina Brahe, later abbreviated to Brahe, sailing on the Finnish lakes. She changed hands several more times over the following years, until in November 2016 she was sold to become a museum ship in Leirvik in Norway, between Stavanger and Bergen. She is to be renamed Sunnhordland.

The local enthusiasts are planning to remove cabins that had been built on the car deck, and restore much of the interiors. Once complete, they plan to offer mystery tours and historical cruises.