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Court sentences captain and first mate of MW Wakashio to prison

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In Mauritius a court sentenced the captain and first mate of the MW Wakashio, whose grounding in 2020 caused the worst oil spill on the coast of Mauritius, to 20 months in prison.

The judge added that both defendants pleaded guilty and apologised.

The Japanese bulk carrier ran aground on July 25th, 2020 on a coral reef southeast of Mauritius, releasing more than 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil into its crystal clear waters.

The Panamanian-flagged vessel was on the way to Brazil from Singapore with 3,800 tonnes of fuel oil and 200 tonnes of diesel on board, which soon began to leak but most of which could be pumped out.

During the hearing, the Indian captain, Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar, admitted that he had been drinking at a party on board the ship.

The oil spill was the worst marine pollution in the history of the country, which depends on its waters for food security and eco-tourism, in an area that has some of the world's most beautiful coral reefs.

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