A new ship reporting system to help prevent collisions is being planned for the English Channel in the wake of the Erika tanker spill earlier this year, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) said. The system would make it easier to track and communicate with vessels in the central English Channel, IMO said. The proposal follows the sinking of the 25 year old tanker Erika in December which caused widespread pollution to French beaches, the UN agency for maritime affairs said.
"(The system) should make possible a significant increase in safety, efficiency of navigation and environmental protection in and around the traffic separation system in operation off Les Casquets," IMO said. The scheme will apply to all ships over 300 gross tons entering the area. It should be implemented six months after adoption by IMO's maritime safety committee which
meets to discuss the plan in November.
Ships would have to report their name, destination and details of dangerous cargoes to coastal authorities who would then track their progress and communicate with them if there was a need to help prevent a collision or grounding.