ABS Confirms Prestige Casualty

Thursday, November 14, 2002
ABS confirms that it is the classification society of record for the damaged tanker Prestige, operated by Universe Maritime Ltd., of Greece. The society is encouraged by the latest reports indicating that the incident has been largely brought under control and is hopeful that the vessel and the cargo will be brought safely to port. At the time of the incident the vessel was in full compliance with all ABS classification requirements, including the IACS Enhanced Survey Program for older tankers. The last Classification Annual Survey was carried out at Dubai in May 2002. The last Classification Special Survey and drydocking was carried out in Guangzhou in China in May of 2001. There are no outstanding class or statutory issues attached to the vessel. The Prestige was built to ABS class requirements by Hitachi Zosen in 1976. ABS survey experts are currently undertaking a detailed review of the vessel's recent survey history. ABS President Robert D. Somerville said that ABS immediately established a crisis management team upon learning of the incident. "We will continue to offer our complete cooperation to the owner, the flag state, the coastal state and the salvors in their combined efforts to safeguard the vessel," he stressed. "At this early stage we have no clear indication of the cause of the incident but we will participate fully with any subsequent formal investigation."

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