New Zealand Fines Bulker Captain, Chief Officer for Giving False Details

The Captain and Chief Officer of the bulk carrier Emilie Bulker were fined for giving false information to Maritime New Zealand after a crewman passed out aboard the vessel because of lack of oxygen in the ship’s poorly-ventilated hold.

Namely, Captain Walter Damian and Chief Officer Ian Dalingding pleaded guilty to providing false information to Maritime NZ and were fined NZD 13,500 (USD 8,505) and NZD 4,050 (USD 2,550) respectively. The Captain also pleaded guilty to permitting dangerous activity.

A reparation payment of NZD 10,000 for emotional harm has been awarded to the victim, Maritime NZ said.

The incident occurred aboard the 32,690 dwt bulker at the Port of Tauranga on September 6, 2019, when the crewman was working in a hold containing palm kernel, which is known to deplete oxygen in the air.

Fire and Emergency NZ rescued the unconscious man from the ship’s cargo-hold. He was taken to the Tauranga Hospital and placed in an induced coma. He was discharged from the hospital on September 10.

During an investigation into the matter, the Captain and Chief Officer gave false information claiming that assessment and gas tests of the cargo-hold had been done, and the hold was safe to work in.