Owner of bulk freighter to plead guilty to negligent operation
Federal charges of grossly negligent operation of a vessel brought last week against Twilight Marine Ltd. are expected to bring guilty pleas from the company on Tuesday, court records show.
Filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland and obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, the records state that in addition to pleading guilty to the misdemeanor charge, the firm is prepared to pay a fine and restitution.
The charges stem from an incident late last year when sailors aboard the Malta-flagged 'Warrior,' a 38,880-ton cargo ship, noticed two-and-a-half-foot-long cracks in the starboard, or right, side deck, while the vessel was crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
The vessel was detained in San Francisco Bay in November according to U.S. Coast Guard documents. The cracks were repaired, according to court documents, but soon after, two larger cracks, each about three feet long, were found on the port, or left, side deck.
Tape covered the port cracks and painted to blend in with the deck, the documents state.
“During the Atlantic crossing, Twilight Marine knew that the 'Warrior' was in a hazardous condition in that these two cracks were not properly repaired,” authorities wrote.
No details about the fee or amount of restitution were available.
The 'Warrior' was built in 1984 for Hamburg, Germany-based Hellespont Group who sold the vessel in 2004.