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HomeMaritimeCaptain of APL England charged with operating unseaworthy vessel

Captain of APL England charged with operating unseaworthy vessel

A court in Brisbane, Australia has charged the captain of the containership, the APL England, with operating an unseaworthy vessel. The charge was issued 20 months after the ship lost containers overboard in a storm.

The captain, Mohd Zulkhaili Bin Alias, remains free on bail in Malaysia while waiting for a trial date to be set.

On May 24 2020, the ship encountered gale-force winds and heavy seas about 46 nautical miles away from Sydney, Australia. Officers determined that the ship lost 50 boxes overboard and another 63 were found damaged on the ship. They later discovered that 23 of the lost containers were empty, one contained dry powder fire extinguishers, and the rest had furniture, medical face masks, shields, and various other goods.

During the January 24 hearing in Brisbane Magistrates Court, the prosecution sought charges that the way the ship was operated led to pollution or environmental damage. They also tried for a charge of dumping garbage into the ocean. They said that under the law that any plastic put into the sea was garbage, while the defense argued that the containers lost were loaded cargo, and therefore they couldn’t be considered waste. The court sided with the defense.

The Australian Transportation Safety Bureau continues to investigate, and still needs to release a final report on the incident.



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