Intertanko Seeks Full Investigation of Prestige Incident

Thursday, November 21, 2002
Intertanko is welcoming the EU Parliament Resolution today calling for an in-depth investigation of the events and all parties concerned with the Prestige incident. The Association has expressed disappointment that the Resolution, which in its draft form also called for the role of national and local authorities to be subject to investigation, appears to exclude the conduct of these authorities from the investigation. A full and rigorous post-incident investigation must include the important ship-shore interface and the conduct of all parties concerned prior to and following this unfortunate accident. Intertanko understands that the owner of the vessel, Mare Shipping Inc and operator of the vessel, Universe Maritime Ltd, have been cooperating with all relevant authorities and are committed to participate fully with the accident investigation. Intertanko has previously welcomed the statements of ABS and the Bahamas Maritime Authority for making available all the historical records on Prestige. Intertanko believes that it is essential that all major marine accidents are comprehensively investigated and that the results are made public so that important lessons can be learned. This incident has also highlighted the shipping industry's concern surrounding coastal states' continued reluctance to admit ships into places of refuge. When ships in need are not granted such access to sheltered waters, the potential for a serious incident is frequently increased and the safety of the crew jeopardized. The emergency transfer of cargo and other measures to aid a stricken vessel may be similarly hindered with a consequent increased threat to the environment.

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