Captain found guilty over Mauritius tanker oil spill

The captain and first officer of a ship that ran aground on coral reef in Mauritius have been found guilty of endangering safe navigation.

The captain, Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar, admitted to drinking moderately during a birthday party onboard before the MV Wakashio ran aground on 25 July 2020.

About 1,000 tonnes of fuel leaked into the water, sparking an ecological emergency.

Mauritius is home to world-renowned coral reefs, and popular with tourists.

Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar and his first officer, Hitihanillage Subhoda Janendra Tilakaratna were found guilty under the 2007 Merchant shipping act by the Court of Investigation, set up by the Mauritian government.

Nandeshwar said he had given orders to approach Mauritian waters so that the crew could get phone reception to make calls to their families.

The investigation found that the lookout officer had been allowed to stay at the birthday party which meant that he could not ensure the safe navigation of the ship. Nandeshwar apologised to Mauritians for the damage caused.



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