Captain and first officer of Wakashio newcatlemax, which was grounded on a coral reef off Mauritius in last year’s worst environmental disaster in the island nation’s history, pleaded guilty for endangering safe navigation.

Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar (captain) and Subodha Tilankaratna (first officer), filed their pleas Monday at a hearing at Port Louis’ Intermediate Court. Nandeshwar admitted that he had drunk at a party aboard the ship in July 2020, when it ran aground.

These charges, for conduct “likely to endanger the safe navigation of the ship or to cause interference or annoyance to the other persons on board”, are among the most minor criminal offenses under Mauritian law. These offenses can result in a $1,140 fine or a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment.

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