A ship bearing the Lebanese flag has been detained for three days and fined €8,000 for discharging animal waste in the port anchorage off the coast of Limasso, Phileleftheros reported on Wednesday.
The ship had reached the anchorage on Saturday to refuel, when a police patrol spotted brown water being discharged into the sea and filmed the incident, informing the Port Authority immediately.
The Port Authority then contacted the deputy ministry of shipping and the Limassol Municipality and a detention order was issued.
When officials boarded the ship for inspection they found animal faeces on the ship which was being washed into the sea.
The captain of the vessel explained that water from a broken drinking water valve was spouting water with pressure and carrying the faeces into the sea.
The investigation lasted until late Sunday, as the ship was not allowed to leave the port, despite the intervention of lawyers, who requested its immediate release.
Thanks to co-operation between the police, the Port Authority, the State Maritime Department and Limassol Municipality, evidence was found, as officials boarded the ship before crew member could hide their actions.
The investigation showed that irrespective of the captain’s explanations, the sea had been polluted while the ship officers had failed to inform authorities as was their obligation.
The ship was detained until yesterday and was allowed to leave only after paying an €8000 fine.
However, the Port Authority took into account the fact that holding the vessel in port for three days was already a severe indirect punishment.
After the ship’s departure, the Limassol Municipality contracted a special cleaning unit shortly after to collect the sewage from the sea.