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

Rainfall warning: Up to 70 mm expected across Fraser Valley

Environment Canada issued a weather warning heading into the long weekend

No more mobile vendors on Harrison beach

The approval of an updated business licence bylaw means Nolan Irwin is without a cart

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Harrison Festival releases 2019 line up

The 41st annual Harrison Festival of the Arts will be held from July 12 to 21

Fisheries Department announces conservation measures to protect chinook in B.C.

Urgent protection measures include closure of a commercial fishery involving seven endangered stock

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Man driving wrong way on Highway 17 ‘seriously’ injured after crash: Surrey RCMP

Police say the driver hit a transport truck, then another car after merging from the off-ramp onto highway

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Rare ‘Snow Tower’ tree blooming in Vancouver city park

A plant rarely grown in Canada is now flowering at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Most Read