After being detained by Spain for allegedly discharging hydrocarbons in open waters of the Mediterranean, the Turkish tanker
Lagertha was released and cleared of any wrongdoing following an investigation at Tarragona port.
The Maltese-flagged ship owned by Besiktas Shipping Group was intercepted by Spanish authorities after a discharge that extended over an area of 12.7 sq km was detected by air patrol and satellite radar.
Upon arrival at the port, the owners were informed that they would be fined €100.000 and that a port state control inspection would be performed onboard due to alleged pollution. However, Besiktas Groip said the discharge operation was legal as the vessel did not have any oil cargo or oil washing water onboard but instead fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) which was earlier loaded in Amsterdam.
“The vessel sailed from its last discharge port of La Coruna to Tarragona and during her passage off Finistere, the vessel carried out tank cleaning and disposal to sea as per Marpol regulations. Vessel cargo was Annex II, Fame cargo and all tank washing discharge operations were carried out as per Marpol requirements,” Besiktas official told Splash.
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The company noted it provided all records to the Spanish port state control officers before arrival in Tarragona, adding that the “inspection covering the investigations was completed without any finding related to alleged pollution” and the vessel was allowed to sail on February 21 to pick up cargo at Motril and discharge in Bilbao.