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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Online services available at Comox Valley libraries

Since early June, the Vancouver Island Regional Library has been offering ‘takeout’… Continue reading

Comox Valley Regional District board approves $115,000 towards soccer field house project

The Comox Valley Regional District board has approved a $115,000 contribution to… Continue reading

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Comox Valley Horseshoe Society all about friendly competition

Feeling lucky? Do you have horseshoes? The Comox Valley Horseshoe Society is… Continue reading

Fanny Bay residents fed up with problem house

A delegation from Fanny Bay has appealed to regional district directors to… Continue reading

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Most Read