Eastwind ship fined ?1m for Brittany slick.
A FRENCH court has imposed a ?1m ($1.4m) fine on the owner and master of the Eastwind Maritime reefer Matterhorn for causing pollution off the French Brittany coast last May.
The court in Brest followed the recommendation of the prosecutor in imposing the ?1m fine on the vessel"s Russian master, but with the stipulation that 90% of it be paid by the owner, named as Eastwind Hellas.
The 1985-built, 5,102 gt vessel was spotted by a French customs service aircraft on May 25 last year with a 22 km pollution slick in its wake.
It was diverted to Brest and is still being held there in the absence of payment of the ?300,000 guarantee sought by the French judicial authorities.
The 15-strong Russian and Ukrainian crew was able to leave France in September after the International Transport Workers" Federation applied on the crew"s behalf for the vessel"s arrest.
ITF representative François Caillou said the federation hoped a French court would order the sale of the vessel later this month. A number of Eastwind Maritime vessels have already been sold in recent months following the bankruptcy of the New York-based company in June last year.