Western Canada Marine Response Corp. works on bunker fuel spill in Vancouver’s English Bay from the bulk freighter MV Marathassa, April 2015. (WCMRC)

Vessel that spilled fuel into English Bay in Vancouver acquitted of all charges

MV Marathassa discharged a harmful pollutant into the waters of English Bay in 2015

A British Columbia provincial court has acquitted a vessel on all charges over its spill of 2,700 litres of bunker fuel into Vancouver’s English Bay.

In a 77-page ruling released Thursday, Judge Kathryn Denhoff says the MV Marathassa discharged a harmful pollutant into the waters of English Bay and says four migratory birds were smeared with oil in April 2015.

But her ruling says the Marathassa exercised due diligence and the discharge was caused by two unforeseeable shipbuilder defects on the new vessel, which had only been in operation for three weeks.

It says the defects were only discovered as a result of the leak and were not foreseeable to external shipbuilding auditors nor to two experienced Transport Canada inspectors, who inspected the vessel in a search for the source of the leak.

The Marathassa also had extensive pollution prevention systems in place and had conducted a comprehensive crew training program aimed at safety and pollution prevention that covered spills.

The ruling says the Marathassa’s crew also implemented its pollution emergency plan by taking samples of the fuel oil in the water and helping with containment.

“As a result, the Marathassa is acquitted of all charges,” the ruling says.

“The Marathassa also took all reasonable steps to avoid the fuel oil spill on April 8, 2015.”

The City of Vancouver filed a federal court claim in April against the owner of the Marathassa, saying it still hadn’t received compensation for about $550,000 it spent on response efforts.

In March, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled that Alassia Newships Management Inc., the Greek company that operated the vessel and employed its crew, was not properly served a summons notice so the trial proceeded only against the Marathassa.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Summerland reservoirs expected to fill, despite low snow levels

Snow measurements at two Summerland sites have been significantly lower than normal

VIDEO: Weekend weather for the Okanagan-Shuswap

A mix of rain, clouds and sun are expected for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen

EDITORIAL: Volunteers keep Keremeos community going

A community cannot function without volunteers

Keremeos foreman ready to retire after 27 years

Jordy Bosscha public works and parks foreman for the village is ready to put his feet up

Letter: Interior Health pharmacy decision impacts local business

They have had no discussion with the local pharmacies on why they are doing this

It was no Kentucky Derby: B.C. girls host foot-long snail race

Two Grade 3 students in White Rock put four snails to the test in a hotly-contested street race

Snow falling at Big White near season’s end

Big White is open until April 22

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Funds presented for Growing Woman’s Health Campaign

Summerland Shoppers Drug Mart presents cheque for event held last autumn

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Big stories begin with small suitcase in upcoming festival

Shuswap-Okanagan storytellers to open up at Festival of Mini Theatre in Salmon Arm

Letter: Writer hopes Alberta will turn off the tap, teach B.C. a lesson

So glad to see Jason Kenney get elected in Alberta and hope… Continue reading

Rain closes North Okanagan fields

Forecast calling for more rain Friday

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

Most Read