x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

UAQ court fines owner and captain of sunken White Whale

The White Whale was carrying several hundred tonnes of diesel when it sank on October 22. Its nine crew members, including the captain, escaped on a life boat.

UMM AL QUWAIN // The Iraqi owner of a ship that sank off the coast of Umm Al Quwain in 2011 has been fined Dh24,000 by the emirate's appeals court.

The White Whale was carrying several hundred tonnes of diesel when it sank on October 22. Its nine crew members, including the captain, escaped on a life boat, eventually reaching land 16 kilometres away.

The Sudanese Captain, identified as FAA, was also fined Dh24,000.

Both the captain and the owner were found guilty of failing to prevent and reduce pollution after the sinking; entering the territorial waters of the state without proper documentation; carrying diesel into the country in an ill-prepared vessel; and carrying diesel without the proper documentation.

A civil case filed by the Ministry of Environment for Dh20 million in compensation for work to salvage the ship and for damage caused to the environment is ongoing in the UAQ civil court.

The White Whale was lying about 30 metres below the surface, 11 nautical miles off the coast of UAQ, about 30 minutes by boat, when it was finally raised in June last year.

According to earlier Ministry releases salvaging the ship cost Dh4.5million.

KYasin@thenational.ae