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Fleet Management Ordered to Pay $10 Million for Cosco Busan Oil Spill

The U.S. Department of Justice announced today that Fleet Management Ltd. was ordered to pay $10 million for its role in causing the Cosco Busan oil spill in the San Francisco Bay. Crews from NRC at Alameda Point responded to the spill in November, 2007.

Fleet Management, a Hong Kong-based ship management firm, pleaded guilty to a criminal violation of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 as well as felony obstruction of justice and false statement charges for creating false and forged documents after the crash at the direction of shore-based supervisors with an intent to deceive the U.S. Coast Guard.

Fleet was also ordered to implement a comprehensive compliance plan that would include heightened training and voyage planning for ships engaged in trade in the United States. The training will focus on better preparing masters for command of Fleet’s vessels, providing classroom and shipboard navigation training to those who navigate Fleet’s vessels, and ensuring that all Fleet vessels calling in U.S. ports create a thorough plan for how they will navigate in those ports. The new training and voyage planning requirements will be subject to auditing and the court’s supervision.

“The U.S. Coast Guard is pleased to see an increased emphasis on crew training,” said Rear Admiral Joseph Castillo, Commander of the 11th Coast Guard District. “The safety of mariners, the health of our economy, and the protection of our environment all require the safest possible operation of merchant ships sailing in our ports, waterways and coastal areas, and proper training is key to safe operations.”

The 11th Coast Guard District is headquartered at Coast Guard Island, Alameda.

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