Discharge of Oil

14th December 2009, 08:18
Here is an extract from a report Issued by the Swedish Transport Agency
SE-601 73 Norrköping dealing with a Ro-Ro ship spilling oil in the Finish port of Nådendal, the ships Master went hands up to the local authority about the incident but my concern is the treatment the master was given by officials when he was taken ashore for an interrogate-like talk by Finnish Police since he was under the suspicion of a gross environmental crime.
I have the link for the full report here www.transportstyrelsen.se although below I have copy/paste the few pages from the report that cover the Police/Master interview and his treatment....remember this happened in Finland!
IMO No. 9138006 – SKUH –
Discharge of Oil –

The experiences of the master at the interrogations
The first day:
On the day following the day of the discharge, 30 March, the
FINNEAGLE berthed again at 1000 hours in Nådendal after having sailed
a return trip to Kapellskär, Sweden, where the chief engineer was relieved
as scheduled.
At about 1015 hours two surveyors from the Finnish Maritime
Administration came on board in order to get information about the
occurrence. Four or five armed Coast Guards officers, one policeman and
one man who the master understood came from the Frontier Authority,
came to the bridge where the master, the chief engineer and the chief
officer were.
The Finnish officials talked mostly internally in Finnish. Their main
interest was to know if there had been any ballast handling at the time of
the discharge. One could show on board that this was not the case. Due to
small amount and light cargo the ballast tanks were full.
When going down to car deck to see the plug of the sounding pipe the
master got a phone call. A man, who introduced himself as a policeman
from Turku asked the master "who is responsible for this". The master did
not want to answer the question but said that the policeman who was on
board would call. The two policemen had quite a long conversation in
They wanted the master to come to the police station in Turku to give
further information. However, the master thought it would be better if the
police came on board the ship, since that was where the facts were.
The police insisted and at 1220 hours, after he had made copies of the
initial report, log excerpt and crew list, the master and the chief engineer
were picked up at the ramp by two policemen in uniform.
The car which transported them was of the type used for transporting
prisoners, with barred windows. They were locked into the car and had to
sit on benches made by steel or wood, which made it difficult to hold on to
the seat during the ride. There were no seatbelts.
At 1300 hours they arrived at the police station in Turku, where they had to
wait in the car for about 10 minutes before they were let out. The master
and the chief engineer were both troubled and worried about the way they
were treated.
At 1335 they were escorted to a room where they had to wait for quite a
long time. Someone looked into the room at intervals. Later on a male and
a female police person entered the room and after the master and chief
engineer had been informed about their rights in Swedish the
talks/interrogation started. These police persons treated them nicely.
Since the chief interrogator, whom the master never saw, was sitting in
another room there were many pauses when information should be handed
over. This made it seem as if there was no structure and order in the
When the master and the chief engineer had tried to explain and answer the
questions they were parted. This was troublesome to the master, since the
chief engineer had the technical knowledge. They were not allowed to
meet after that.
It was indicated that the master might be detained due to the fact that he
was under the suspicion of "polluting the environment".
The master then had to get in contact with a reliever, who was living in
Nådendal, and also arrange with the relief. This was looked upon with
disapproval by the police, who ordered the phone to be disconnected.
The master was very worried about the insufficient manner in which the
relief procedure was made. The relief process is always very formalized
and strict. He therefore felt he could not fulfill his duties the way he
wanted, neither the compulsory duties nor the additional ones.
The interrogations of the day were written in Finnish in a record which was
read in Swedish to the master. He was asked to sign it, but thought that he
could not or would not do that since he could not be sure that what was
read to him was what was written. Also, he considered a lot of what was
read was faulty and to a great extent misunderstandings.
In this connection it was made clear to the master that he would have to
stay the night in the police station. The chief engineer, who had not been
on board at the discharge of oil, was allowed to go onboard. An officer
from the Finnish Frontier Authority promised to go to the ship to hand over
the master's official phone.
The interrogations were terminated at 1630 hours and the master was
locked up in the basement of the police headquarters after his belt, phone,
shoes and money had been taken from him. The policeman who escorted
him to his cell thought the way the master was treated was pretty brutal.
The cell was 6 m x 2.5 m and with no window but an opening for light up
below the ceiling. On a bench made from concrete that ran along the long
side of the cell there was, as the master expressed it, a "disgusting
matress". He got sheets and a pillowcase but no towel, no soap and
nothing to read. The only thing he could read was the scribble on the walls.
The toilet was a lump of concrete in one corner. The door was made from
steel with a small shutter.
The first night he was walking up and down the cell and sat down on the
bench now and then. At 2200 hours he lay down to try to have some sleep.
There were about 20 cells in the basement. They seemed to be well-filled
and shouting and kicking on the steel doors could be heard all night. After
the worst rowdies had been taken away it was comparatively silent and it
was possible to sleep.
The master was haunted by the thought of how few people really knew
where he was. He felt he had got very low down on the human ladder of
dignity but tried still to maintain his professional dignity.
On the occasion the master was on penicillin treatment. It was agreed with
the warder that he should open the shutter at 0800 hours in the morning so
the master could have his pill.
The second day
At 1030 the master was brought back to the police station, which was
comparatively nice in comparison with the cell. He was allowed to use the
staff toilet to freshen up a bit.
Ro-Ro Ship FINNEAGLE IMO No. 9138006 - SKUH - Discharge of oil on 29 March, 2009
Sid 26
Now a lawyer from Finnlines Ship Management was present and the
master got the opportunity to talk to the lawyer.
The questioning on the second day was more structured, according to the
master. Everything said was noted in Swedish and he was allowed to read
the records in piece and quiet with the lawyer.
The master was hoping not to have to spend one more night in the cell but
in vain. The interrogations continued in the presence of the lawyer without
a break until 1600 hours, when the master was taken back to his cell.
The third day
Also the third day the questions were structured and seemed, as was the
case on the second day, to have been formulated by someone with
knowledge on the subject. One tried to co-operate in formulating questions
and answers.
The master could not answer some of the questions which concerned
technical matters, and other questions he could have answered if he had
been on board.
The interrogations on the third day continued until between 1400 and 1430
hours, after which the master was allowed to leave the police headquarters.

14th December 2009, 11:24
Finland, sounds more like an eastern communist/police state.