The federal court has ruled Imperial Pacific International LLC and its parent company, IPI Holdings Ltd. 7th
IPI and IPI Holdings were served from their Saipan offices.
“If you do not respond, you will be subject to a default judgment on legal protection requested in the complaint,” said District Court Judge Heather Kennedy for the NMI in her subpoena.
The complaint relates to the Grand Mariana removal costs incurred in responding to the potential threat of an oil spill after Typhoon Yutu landed in the Northern Mariana Islands in October 2018.
USDOJ civil and crime department attorney Frank Anders filed an appearance on Friday as a representative of the federal government.
The lawsuit seeks to reclaim $ 1,391,917.18 from the yacht’s owners for the cost of the “Grand Mariana incident and removal operation.”
The USDOJ named Pride Keen Ltd., Imperial Pacific International LLC and IPI Holdings as defendants in the lawsuit. You have been sued for liability under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 as the registered owner of the Grand Mariana.
The lawsuit stated that the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Detachment, or MSD Saipan, determined during a port assessment in October 2018 that the Grand Mariana was not ready to leave port before Typhoon Yutu.
As a result, MSD Saipan has issued a federal interest or NOFI notice to Pride Keen stating the Grand Mariana’s substantial threat to dump oil in Saipan’s port and Pride Keen’s responsibility and financial liability in the event of an oil spill from Das Schiff.
Sector Guam required all ships greater than or equal to 200 GT to leave port or to obtain written permission from the Coast Guard or the captain of the port or COTP to remain in port under a port severe weather condition or PHWC.
Under PHWC Zulu, it was predicted that gale winds (39-54 mph / 34 ^ 7 knots) from a tropical or hurricane / typhoon storm would land in port within 12 hours.
If PHWC ZULU were to be discontinued by the Guam Sector, all ports and marinas would be closed and all cargo / bunker operations within the port would have to cease.
According to the complaint, the Grand Mariana has not left port and has not applied for a waiver to remain in port.
As a result, Sector Guam issued an administrative order to Pride Keen requiring the removal of all fuel from the yacht’s fuel tanks, engines, fuel lines and any other potential sources on board that could contain oil products prior to the impending typhoon and relocation to the designated berth.
But Pride Keen did not comply with the official order, it says in the complaint.
On October 24, 2018, the Grand Mariana was relocated to a berth in Tanapag Harbor, but due to the deteriorating weather it was considered unsafe for divers to properly moor the ship as requested.
âAs a result, the ship was anchored in the lagoon with two anchors to try to secure its position. Typhoon Yutu hit land in the early morning hours of October 25th. The Grand Mariana broke free of its anchorages and ran aground about 170 meters from the beach of the American Memorial National Park and in the port of Tanapag. At the time of the agitation, the Grand Mariana contained approximately 15,500 gallons of fuel, âthe complaint said.
The U.S. government has worked through and through the Field Operations Service Center with a variety of facilities including, but not necessarily limited to, Global Diving and Salvage Inc.
It stated that the US government paid these facilities the cost of removal in response to the significant threat of oil spillage.
On April 14, 2020, the National Pollution Funds Center sent a Notice of Potential Liability Letters to Pride Keen, IPI Holdings, and IPI CNMI, informing them that the USCG considered them responsible parties.
The National Pollution Funds Center requested reimbursement of all outstanding removal costs and damage owed by the defendants and sent all defendants an invoice for $ 1,391,917.18 on May 10, 2020.
Despite this claim, the defendants failed and refused to reimburse the costs and damages to which they were entitled, according to the statement of claim.
In July 2019, Variety reported that the U.S. Coast Guard had instructed the owners of the Grand Mariana to salvage the yacht that had run aground near Micro Beach since Typhoon Yutu.
Citing the yacht as a pollution hazard, the USCG said it would ensure that “owners are responsible for cleaning up oil spills and carrying out all clean-up operations”.