Illegal dumping of oil/bilgewater

“Illegal dumping of oil and falsification of oil record books are egregious violations. This guilty verdict should serve as a reminder that the Coast Guard and our partners at the Department of Justice will work tirelessly to hold accountable those that seek to deliberately discharge oil and falsify records.”

Does anyone know why other parts of the world don’t have such spectacular arrests and prosecutions, at least not as often?
Is it due to a lack of commitment from the relevant regulatory authorities or simply because these types of crimes don’t occur in the waters of other countries?
For example, is a “magic pipe” specifically installed only after leaving European waters, or do flag state inspectors, Port State Control, and many other regulatory institutions fail to locate it? This is truly incomprehensible to me.


Probably has to do with the whistleblower reward provisions in the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.


I don’t know that any port state inspections outside of the US are as diligent as the ones here. Or. . . do you think that there just might be some corruption. . . nah.

I’m not suggesting anything; I simply don’t understand how such a situation is possible.
I don’t understand why it’s only the USCG inspectors who find false entries in the Oil Record Book, and more importantly, I don’t understand why someone would engage in such falsification, what business it is to risk a career, good reputation and multi-million dollar fines.

Article about the whistleblower act:

It could lead others to conclude that prospective whistleblowers are now sophisticated enough to “game the system” and, rather than reporting improprieties to the “designated person ashore” under the International Safety Management (“ISM”) Code or to some other shoreside official so that the impropriety can be promptly addressed, they are waiting for a U.S. port call to cash in. In a few recent cases, we have seen whistleblowers gathering information for months and then packaging that information, which commonly includes photos, videos, diagrams, and memoranda containing dates, times, and locations of alleged improper discharges, for delivery to the U.S. Coast Guard upon arrival in a U.S. port, often times allowing pollution to continue for months.

The UK does serious checks

Some are more intense and more “diligent” than the USCG could ever hope to be.


In NW European ports the PSC inspectors are mostly experienced ex. seafarers, not military personnel with an attitude.

PS> They don’t take bribes, nor “bribe” anybody to get information. (Both are equally illegal)

“Military Personnel” with an attitude. As usual, your lack of recent experience in dealing with the various Port State Control entities is telling. Of course, if you were truly knowledgeable regarding USCG Inspectors, you would know that at least one member of a boarding team is notably schooled in what to look for regarding environmental violations, another usually the administrative side and yet another for Safety and Labor issues.

And you are vastly incorrect regarding NW European Ports- the last two PSC Inspectors we had were former German Naval Officers who were MUCH worse than the USCG any day.

Another thing- your constant vitriol against anything US in nature has grown tiring- your disdain for US Seafarers and the US Merchant Marine obvious- YOU are the reason some of us don’t join in these conversations. Please refrain from making vitriolic attacks on the US, US Merchant Marine or US Seafarers…


Firstly, this article describes a situation from over 10 years ago, and secondly, it still doesn’t explain why someone would risk their career today. Maybe I’m naive, but I can understand unintentional mistakes or unreported technical failures, but I don’t see any sense in falsifying entries in the Oil Record Book and knowingly illegal pumping out oily water.

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Fair dinkum. Maybe you and a lot of others here will stop referring to all foreign flag vessels as “FOCs” and all foreign seafarers as “3rd world villagers”?

I have worked all over the world and with people of different races, religions and nationalities during my long working life in the maritime industries and I don’t believe that seamanship abilities and skills are based on your race, religion or nationality. There are good, bad and medioker seafarers from anywhere.

The STCW Convention has levelled out the educational requirements a lot, but there is still a way to go before all flag states are fully in compliance, or accepting other countries credentials.

What I said was:

That you have experienced some German PSC Inspectors that were; “MUCH worse than the USCG” is entirely possible, but may depends on you perception and prejudice. It doesn’t change the facts.

In my survey work, which includes “Master Assist” service during Port State Controls (PSC) inspections with the USCG the ship’s personnel have a hierarchy of stringency something like this: USA, UK, Australia, Canada, and Northern Europe. Outside of that the inspections in other countries are a joke and mostly a shakedown for Marlboros and other boodle. I think it is realistic (if cynical) that a whistleblower would save their “powder” for the big payoff in reporting deficiencies in the USA. Senior officers on ships that are Flag of Convenience will not notify their management with regard to deficiencies as that would be a “career limiting move”!


There is a problem with the USCG as “…Military Personnel with an attitude” and that is they are adjudicated law enforcement offices with authority akin to a U.S. Marshall. It is not enough that they enforce the regulations, they somehow feel empowered to make policy as well. They are crippled with hubris. Has anyone here ever seen them back down (or their superiors) even when they are wrong?

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No one on here has ever done that though. That’s another one of your biased assumptions about Americans.


Silly you, you are doing it wrong!

You see, it’s up to you to ensure they never have to back down, because you must ensure they always have an out from any perceived “mistake” (that never happens, because they are always correct).

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A couple of times, one poster, about 10 years ago. Get over it.

He’s right about the general perception and tone of US Seafarers towards foreign seafarers, and we all know it.

If they wouldn’t work so hard to earn that reputation I might get upset about it.

What do you think about the quoted statement?

In my opinion, every nation is a bit chauvinistic, but there is a problem with some colleagues, their rather arrogant opinions are additionally based on the history of 20-30-50 years ago.

I wonder if colleague considers the Baltic states to be part of Northern or Eastern Europe and whether he also included Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, or China in his research. I have encountered various PSC inspectors, flag state representatives, classification society surveyors, and industry auditors, and honestly, their nationality was not the most significant factor.

With all due respect to the USCG and its activities, I don’t understand our colleague’s message. They either base their inspections on information from whistleblowers or conduct extremely precise and professional checks to establish the actual state of affairs. And when we add to this the information about;

then I really start to wonder where we are headed.

Finally, I will repeat the still overlooked question; why did the crew of m/v Donald decide to take such a high risk of illegally dumping oily water overboard?

5 posts were merged into an existing topic: Off topic from Illegal dumping

Cost or perception of cost of disposal, implications or implied implications of generating waste needing disposal, and timing/inconvenience.

Cost: there is a definite cost to disposal of slops in port. On vessels without a budget for that it will necessarily have a negative impact on the Chief’s budget.

Implications: if there are excessive leaks or oil contamination of bilge water, or a non-functional OWS, it rightly makes the Chief look like he is ineffective at managing the maintenance of the ship.

Timing: if there was a quick port turn and no time permitted for a slop truck/barge.

I can’t justify any of these reasons. I just know through experience they exist. I’ve seen people sometimes do what they thing they need to, even if it’s wrong, and especially in a leadership vacuum.

But if everyone is saying there’s a mariner shortage worldwide then there’s not some reserve supply of Chiefs waiting to fill the spot of one who operates properly if for some reason that proper operation isn’t well received by the management company.

It’s a shame some people still feel compelled to dump it. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it and they just don’t care, I dunno.

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