The Shen Neng 1 on Douglas Shoal. The white plume is destroyed reef mixed with sand.
The Shen Neng 1 on Douglas Shoal. The white plume is destroyed reef mixed with sand. Chris Ison

Gladstone court orders Shen Neng captain to pay $25k fine

Update 1.20pm: Gladstone Magistrates Court has ordered the captain of a ship that caused 'unprecedented' damage to the Great Barrier Reef to pay a $25,000 fine.

Ship master Jichang Wang mastered the Shen Neng 1 coal carrier when it smashed into Douglas Shoal off the Rockhampton coast two years ago.

The ship spilt more than three tonnes of heavy fuel oil into the World Heritage area after travelling almost 30km off course.

Wang pleaded guilty today in Gladstone's Magistrates Court to a charge of causing damage to a marine park and has been ordered to pay a $25,000 fine.

He was not required to appear in court.

Magistrate Mark Morrow says he took into account Jichang Wang was not steering the ship at the time but says he was ultimately liable as captain.

He has 28 days to pay the fine.

Earlier: A THREE-day hearing over a major oil spill on the Great Barrier Reef will begin in Gladstone Magistrates Court today.

The coal carrier Shen Neng 1 ran aground at Douglas Shoal off Rockhampton two years ago.

The ship spilt more than three tonnes of heavy fuel oil into the World Heritage area after travelling almost 30km off course.

The ship's master, Jichang Wang, is charged with causing damage to a marine park.

Wang's lawyer told the ABC his client would not appear at today's hearing.

The ship's second in charge, Xuegang Wang, is already serving a three-month prison sentence over the incident.




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