A federal court in Maryland has reportedly awarded a former merchant marine officer $462,500 for alerting the U.S. Coast Guard that his cargo ship was intentionally dumping oily waste and garbage into the ocean. In February 2011, the seaman gave Coast Guard inspectors a handwritten note telling them about the dumping along with copies of the ship’s log and his cell phone, which contained more than 300 photos documenting the dumping events.
In January 2012, the Greek operator and Danish owner of the vessel pleaded guilty in federal court in Baltimore to violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships; they were each fined $925,000. The court also ordered them to perform community service by giving $275,000 each to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and preparing environmental compliance plans that will be reviewed and audited by the court-appointed monitor. See Baltimore Sun, April 18, 2012.