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Possible A$1.5m fine for China Navigation Company subsidiary

Possible A$1.5m fine for China Navigation Company subsidiary

Hong Kong: Swire Shipping, a wholly owned subsidiary of The China Navigation Company could face fines of up to A$1.5m as the result of an oil spill involving its containership, Pacific Adventurer. The vessel is reported to have spilled between 45,000 to 200,000 litres of oil from its tanks after being affected by severe weather conditions off the Queensland coats in Australia. The Hong Kong flagged ship also saw a number of containers fall overboard.

Marine Safety Queensland general manager John Watkinson is quoted by local media as saying that in addition to the probable A$1.5m fine for Swire Shipping, the captain of the vessel may also be fined up to A$500,000. A state and federal investigation has been launched into the incident.

Swire shipping has committed itself to meeting its responsibilities with regard to this event. A statement on its website reads, 'the company very much regrets the environmental impact caused as a consequence of the vessel being caught in Cyclone Hamish. The company and its insurers will meet all their responsibilities.'

Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, has confirmed that the state intends to seek compensation for the cost of the clean-up, estimated to be in excess of A$700,000. "The oil spill off Moreton Bay is a very serious threat to our environment," Ms Bligh is quoted as saying. "We will be fully investigating this incident. If there has been any breach of environmental requirements, we will not hesitate to prosecute those concerned."  [13/03/09]


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