Thursday, January 29, 2009

Port Authority Says Westerhaven was Negligent

Reef coral broken up by cargo ship

The cargo vessel, Westerhaven, which ran aground on the reef two weeks ago has finally gotten its verdict. According to 7NEWS, the ports navigational investigation on the grounding of Westerhaven is complete and finds that the ship and its captain Fritz Schroeder were negligent. That determination activates section 29 of the Environmental Act which would allow the department of environment to charge the ship’s owner – 3 times the damage ($26.9USMil), which amounts to about $90 million. The ship left Belize on Tuesday night, January 13 en route to Guatemala but on its way out it crashed into the reef in an area known as Caye Glory. The captain Fritz Schroeder says the ship was on autopilot when it ran aground and caused great damage to our Great Barrier Reef. And although the law states that that is what is supposed to be paid more than likely a settlement with the ship’s owner will be worked out.

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