IT is almost a year since the Sunrise ran aground off El Saler (Valencia).
Together with another ship, the Celia, the vessel took shelter during bad weather on September 28. Both remained perilously close to the shore for a month before they could be moved.
The Spanish authorities are still seeking the captain of the Panama-registered Sunrise, after the Prosecution Department started proceedings against him last November.
The decisions he took during the storms seriously endangered the coastline, the Prosecutor claimed.
The shore was critically eroded owing to the ship’s presence so close to the beach, dunes disappeared and cracks appeared in the promenade of a nearby urbanisation.
It was later necessary to replace more than 60,000 cubic metres of sand and re-sow the dunes with 20,000 native plants.
The Prosecution Department now wants to determine whether the captain is responsible for environmental offences.
If found guilty he could face a prison term of up to five years. Nevertheless it is doubtful that he will come to justice as the Spanish authorities know only his name and lack information regarding his whereabouts.