Press Notice No: 19/12
Thursday, February 09, 2012
Posted 12:53 GMT
SHIP OWNERS FINED FOR OVERLOADING
At a hearing yesterday at Southampton Magistrates Court the German owners of the Antigua and Barbuda registered cargo vessel Katja pleaded guilty to the overloading of their vessel which had arrived in Liverpool laden with rock salt from the St. Lawrence Seaway, Canada in November 2010.
The vessel was loaded to its marks with rock salt and sailed from Goderich to arrive at the Manchester Ship Canal on the 23rd November 2010. Rock salt was in high demand to treat UK highways at this time.
As the vessel entered the River Mersey, the pilot on another passing vessel noticed that the Plimsoll Line and load lines were not visible and the vessel appeared very low in the water. When the vessel arrived in the Queen Elizabeth II Dock it was inspected by MCA Port State Control Officers who found that the load line that marks the safety limit of the vessel was submerged by 39.5 cm.
Katja Schiffahrtsges Gmbh of Haren, Ems, Germany, owner of the ship Katja, was fined £28015 plus costs of £5000 awarded to the MCA.
In summing up the Magistrates stated We share the Maritime and Coastguard Agencys view of the seriousness of the case, however accept that the overloading was not for gain. We have also considered the early plea of guilty and have reduced the fine of £42000 accordingly.
Simon Milne, from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said:
Since the good work of Samuel Plimsoll, the application and enforcement of load line marks have prevented the loss of many vessels and have saved the lives of many seafarers.
To ignore the limits and disregard the load line marks only places the vessel and lives of the crew at risk.
A photograph of the Katja is available here: https://mcanet.mcga.gov.uk/press/Press-release-images/Katja_Ellesmere
Posted By: Joanne Groenenberg
For further details contact:
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency Press Office
023 8032 9401