The Prestige incident should be well known to most. After 14 years the 80-something Master has been sentenced to 2 years in a Spanish prison in a knee jerk decision to save the blushes of the Spanish authorities who refused him safe haven when he requested it.
Responding to the Spanish Supreme Court’s decision to sentence Captain Mangouras to two years imprisonment over the 2002 Prestige oil spill, ITF seafarers’ section chair Dave Heindel said: “This decision represents the dying gasps of a 14 year old attempt to deflect blame onto the shoulders of an octogenarian man, who has been cleared in the court of world opinion and by his peer “Thankfully it is likely to be as unenforceable as it is illogical. This innocent man cannot again be made to sit needlessly in jail.” He concluded: “The Mangouras case was one of the worse examples of the kneejerk criminalisation of seafarers. The ITF, like many other organisations and individuals, was able to support him during that ordeal. This latest piece of victimisation reminds us that we must all remain vigilant to protect seafarers from these injustices.”
Is criminalisation of seafarers a problem also in the USA/North America?
I don’t mean only American seafarers in US waters, but also the “numerous” seafarers that gets arrested in the US for oil spill, even if the incident happened in International waters and on foreign flag ships.