17 Apr 2010

Ship's officers fined for Great Barrier Reef shortcut

6:12 pm on 17 April 2010

The captain of a bulk carrier and two of his officers have each been fined $A70,000 by a court in Queensland, for taking a short cut through the Great Barrier Reef early this month.

The South Korean master of the MV Mimosa, and the officers, both from Vietnam, pleaded guilty in the Townsville Magistrates Court on Friday to breaching the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act on 4 April.

The ABC reports they have 14 days to pay the fine or face 12 months in prison.

Magistrate Scott Luxton said the ship took the shortest and most commercially advantageous route by travelling over two restricted zones. It did so to save money on fuel.

The vessel was 50 nautical miles off course and ran aground.