Shen Neng 1 Great Barrier Reef Disaster, Who Should Pay?
(Darwin, NT, Australia)
By now, everyone has heard about the Shen Neng 1’s disaster on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Will Wildlife Suffer?
Due to the fact that this appears to be caused by complete negligence, I believe that the shipping company should receive harsh penalties in additional to the environmental cleanup costs.
This ecological disaster was obviously due to human fatigue, with the First Officer only having 2-hours sleep out of the previous 37 hours!
Wouldn't you call this gross negligence?
Why was he in charge when he had only had minimal sleep? Was it the result of a greedy corporation trying to save labor costs by not scheduling the proper amount of Officers on the tanker?
This is and was a recipe for disaster. The oil tanker First Officer is now looking at 2 years jail time and a fine of $220K.
Do you think this is enough? Who will pay for his board and lodgings while in prison? ...Australians!
Thank God, so far it isn't a major oil spill like the Exxon Valdez in Alaska, because The Great Barrier Reef is having a rough time with all of the negative environmental forces that is imposed upon it daily. It is already majorly stressed from waters being warmer than normal, apparently due to Global Warming.
This is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and brings Australia billions of dollars annually. Anyone who tampers with such a pristine wonderland should pay the maximum penalty, whether it is unintentional or not, in my opinion.
This water lane is used frequently without incident, so do we need pilots on ships? Anna Bligh says that the State of Queensland will pay initially, but is a fine of $220k from the 1st Officer and $50K from the Captain going to cover costs, I doubt that very much...
So who pays now, should it be the shipping company or the Chinese Government?