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PA SHIPPING COMPANIES PLEAD TO OCEAN DUMPING

Release Date: 11/14/97
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 1997

SHIPPING COMPANIES PLEAD TO OCEAN DUMPING

On Nov. 10, Ulysses Cruises Inc., a Panamanian company doing business in Miami, Fla., and Seaway Maritime Co., of Piraeus, Greece, plead guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami to dumping wastes in the Atlantic Ocean. Ulysses Cruises, which operated the cruise ship Seabreeze I for Dolphin Cruise Line Inc., admitted that the Seabreeze I knowingly discharged plastic bags filled with garbage into the sea at locations near the Florida Keys and Puerto Rico in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. In addition, the Seabreeze I also discharged oil into the Atlantic Ocean off of Florida in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Seaway Marine admitted that its cruise ship Star of Texas illegally dumped oil into the Atlantic Ocean near Miami. The Coast Guard has estimated that over one million birds and over 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year from the ingestion of or entanglement in plastic debris at sea. Ulysses Cruises and Seaway Marine have each agreed to pay fines of $75,000 which, by law, will go into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. In addition, Ulysses Cruises has agreed to pay $275,000 in restitution for coral reef and marine life restoration projects. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Enforcement Division, the U.S. Coast Guard and the FBI.


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