Another Captain Criminalized - Pacific Adventurer

Heibi Spirit, Cosco Busan… now the Pacific Adventurer. We may all differ on our opinions about foreign crews in the GOM but I think every mariner, worldwide, shares concern over the trend towards criminalization of the mariner.

POLICE have boarded the ship that spewed oil into southeast Queensland waters and seized the passport of captain Bernadino Santos.

The pilot has been told not to leave the ship as inquiries continue into the disastrous 250,000-litre spill that has swamped Moreton Island and some Sunshine Coast beaches.

The clean-up cost has rocketed towards $10 million and directly jolted the local economy. One of the state’s leading seafood restaurants has refused to stock local products until the mess is cleared.

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Without getting political, and no disrespect to those in the aviation industry…I don’t understand why a pilot that crashes or crash lands an airplane is often regarded as a hero, but a mariner who is involved in an incident is regarded as a criminal.
It is a shame of course to have oil spilled into the sea, but you know, it is the gamble you take when you put faith into thousands of gallons of oil, tons of steel, flesh, blood, and mother nature.
Obviously investigations are necessary, and I am not saying that all mariners are innocent…but something should be done to protect their rights.

Simple, they’re saving public lives, we’re killing birds.

CMA_Decky’s right but also don’t forget the power of a smile and positive reinforcement. Each time you get off a plane the nice guys in uniform come out to smile and wish you a nice day… usually the pilot did a good job so the smile reinforces your good feelings, if he did a bad job then it serves as an appology and you forgive (and forget).

We don’t get that oppurtunity.

Also if an aviator screws up big he’s likely not going to be around for the mug shot. It’s like the old firefighter saying “Even the biggest SOB is a hero at the funeral”.


A 46-YEAR-OLD Chinese man will appear in court today for allegedly breaching shipping requirements in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Chang Quan Xu was the ship master of a Hong Kong-registered bulk carrier ship, the MV Charlotte Bulker, on March 6 when Australian Federal Police (AFP) said the man allegedly breached mandatory regulations in the marine park.

Police said the ship travelled in the Whitsundays Compulsory Pilotage Area without a pilot on board and also travelled outside the designated shipping lane.

The penalty for this offence for an individual is $11,000 or $55,000 for a body corporate. The incident was referred to the AFP by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Mr Xu will appear in the Gladstone Magistrate’s Court charged with offences committed against Section 59B(1) of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975.

It is mandatory under marine park regulations to have a pilot on board vessels above 70m long or loaded chemical tankers in the Whitsunday Island Compulsory Pilotage Area due to the complexity of navigating the reef, traffic density, and high environmental value of the area.

The AFP said the principal risks of not having a pilot on board relate to the potential for ship grounding, ship collision and chemical and oil pollution.

In an unrelated incident, the Hong Kong-based and Swire Shipping-owned MV Pacific Adventurer lost its load of 31 containers that fell off the ship in cyclonic conditions on March 10.

By March 11, the cargo ship had spilled about 250,000 litres of oil off Cape Moreton, polluting about 60km of beaches north to Marcoola on the Sunshine Coast.

The Pacific Adventurer’s Captain Bernadino Santos had his passport seized and has agreed not to leave the ship as three different inquiries continue into the 250,000-litre spill that has swamped Moreton Island and some Sunshine Coast beaches.

Captain to appear in court on Friday

The captain of the ship that caused Queensland’s biggest environmental disaster has been served with a summons to appear in court over the massive oil spill.

The Pacific Adventurer’s skipper has been ordered to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court today, and if he’s found responsible for the pollution he could be fined up to $350,000.

Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) says its officers served the 47-year-old Philippines national with a summons on Tuesday.

He has already surrendered his passport and been confined to his vessel.
MSQ said the summons related to an alleged offence under the Transport Operations Marine Pollution Act which stipulated it was an offence to discharge oil from a ship into Queensland coastal waters.

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Whatever happened to an event called an accident. The bridge DVR’s now only help gather evidence to put people in jail.