May 20, 2024
How Ukrainian Master of container ship MAERSK SURABAYA was arrested in Australia
Ukrainian Master of container ship MAERSK SURABAYA arrested in Australia
– By Alison_Godswill

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How Ukrainian Master of container ship MAERSK SURABAYA was arrested in Australia

A 59-year old Ukrainian Master of container ship MAERSK SURABAYA has been arrested by Australian Federal Police (AFP), according to FleetMon.

It stated: “A 59-year old Ukrainian Master of container ship MAERSK SURABAYA was arrested by Australian Federal Police (AFP) sometime between August 2 and Aug 16, while the ship was in Australian waters, calling Australian ports according to her service schedule.

“Master is charged over the damage inflicted on a section of a subsea telecommunications cable Australia Singapore Cable (ASC), operated by local telco Vocus – a fibre cable system that stretches 4,600 kilometres between Perth and Singapore, with connections to Christmas Island and Indonesia.

“SubCom’s repair vessel, the CS RELIANCE, commenced repairs to the ASC, according to Vocus. Normal services were restored on 13 August, cable break caused approximately $1.5 million in damage.

“AFP claims the ship had been anchored approximately 500 metres from the protection zone, and allegedly dragged its anchor through the area in high winds, snagging and damaging the 20-metre-deep cable. Master is facing a potential maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and a $40,000 fine.

“MAERSK SURABAYA left last Australian port of call, Brisbane, on Aug 16, bound for Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia, with ETA Aug 25. Most probably, Master was arrested when the ship was either in Adelaide or in Melbourne.

“Obvious question is, does this allegation demand immediate arrest of Master? Even if the allegation is later proven to be true and MAERSK SURABAYA did damage cable (not yet proven), there are, undoubtedly, a number of considerations to be taken into account, including the safety of the 8400-TEU Post-Panamax container ship, caught in rough weather.”

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