Sealink is a Miri-based offshore support vessel company chartered by Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd (Petronas).
In a statement today, the company said one of its vessels, Victoria 8, was about to set sail to the Baram Oil Field on March 27 when it was detained by MMEA due to allegations of being unable to provide ‘Borang C’ and other documents despite not being relevant to the vessel.
“However, after thorough investigation and legal consultation, it has been determined that the detention of our vessel was unlawful. Our vessel, Victoria 8 has been released today.
“The baseless allegations and a photo of our crew have also been unlawfully taken by MMEA and published in major newspapers nationwide,” it said.
Sealink said the unlawful detention of its vessel had caused significant disruption to its operations, resulting in financial losses and reputational damage.
Sealink also highlighted several points with regards to the unlawful detention and its compliance with the laws and regulations.
It said the detention of its vessel was carried out without proper legal justification and violated its rights as a maritime operator.
“Victoria 8 was and is chartered by Petronas at all material times and is performing the contractual scope of works, with all materials and cargo on board including the fuel belonging to Petronas. The said fuel was purchased by and belongs to Petronas, with a proper manifest.
“Sealink takes compliance with all applicable laws and regulations seriously.
“Our vessel, Victoria 8, was fully compliant with all relevant international maritime laws and regulations at the time of the detention. We have provided all necessary documentation and evidence to prove our vessel’s compliance,” it said.
In respect of the ‘Borang C’ under the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952, the company argued that the governing rules, regulations and guidelines are that its requirement only applies to a tanker vessel.
It said Victoria 8 is not classified as a tanker, and is a landing craft with a gross tonnage of 488 metric tonnes.
“In respect of the ‘CSA and PDA documents’, the fuel on board belongs to Petronas, not Sealink.
“The PDA permits are for bunkering services, petroleum transportation services and wholesale marketing business.
“None of these are applicable to Victoria 8 as it is a landing craft and not a transportation (tanker) and Sealink is neither in bunkering services nor wholesale marketing of petroleum, and the CSA permits are for controlled supplies.
“The fuel on board Victoria 8 belongs to Petronas and was purchased by Petronas at market rates and not at subsidised rates,” it said.
In this respect, Sealink said that it remains committed to upholding the highest standards of maritime safety and compliance.
“We will continue to work with relevant authorities to ensure that our vessels operate in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
“Sealink is confident in our vessel’s compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. We appreciate the support of our customers, partners, and the maritime community,” it said.
Sealink is principally involved in the business of chartering of marine vessels, shipbuilding and ship repair.
The company builds, owns and operates a diverse fleet of marine support vessels, which serve the global exploration and marine industry.
With a strong commitment to safety, compliance, and customer satisfaction, Sealink has been a trusted provider of maritime services since 1974.