Zim officer given 6 months' service

Zdrako was piloting the Israeli ship when it hit a Japanese boat, killing 7 men.

Zim Asia ship 298.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
Zim Asia ship 298.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
The second officer of the Zim Asia ship that collided with a Japanese fishing boat in September of last year was sentenced to six months of community service on Sunday evening. Pilastro Zdrako, a Serbian national, was convicted, according to a plea bargain, on seven counts of negligent homicide. In addition to the community service, the second officer was fined NIS 18,000 and given a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence. The Israeli cargo ship he was piloting, Zim Asia, weighing some 40,000 tons, hit the Shinsei Maru 3 in international waters near the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Only one of eight fisherman survived the collision. "I'm very sorry for what has happened to those families," he told reporters in court in the port city of Haifa." I just want to finish my punishment and go back home." In March, the Transport Ministry found Zdrako responsible for the September 28, 2005 accident. Although he is a citizen of Croatia, he was tried in Israel because the ship is considered Israeli territory. After initially denying responsibility, Zim officials apologized for the accident, which caused a brief diplomatic incident between Israel and Japan. Police said they found deficiencies in the performance of the ship's captain, Moshe Ben-David as well. "According to the findings, the collision was caused during a non-routine maneuver that the Zim ship made, while following an order made by the second officer who commanded the ship at the time of the collision," police said.