Baltic Nations to Focus on Maritime Safety

Wednesday, April 04, 2001
Germany called on Wednesday for nations bordering the Baltic Sea to boost maritime safety to avoid accidents such as last week's tanker collision, which led to an oil spill off the Danish coast.

Foreign ministers from the Baltic region meeting in Hamburg on June 7 should make environmental protection and shipping safety a focus of talks, Germany's Foreign Ministry said.

"In particular, the German government backs speeding up the introduction of double-hulled tankers, the speedy introduction of satellite-supported positioning observation systems and the organization of harbor and piloting fees dependant on fulfilling environmental standards," the ministry said.

It also called for an improvement of search and rescue systems.

Danish authorities said half the oil - around 1,000-1,500 tons of heavy heating oil - from the tanker, which collided last week with a freighter in the Baltic Sea between Denmark and Germany, had reached the Danish coast.

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