Questions Remain after Ferry Disaster

Friday, February 10, 2006
The European Maritime Safety Agency has questioned Rina, the Italian shipping organization that certified the Egyptian ferry that sank with the loss of almost 1,000 lives. The European maritime safety agency has requested details of the audits Rina carried when it certified the 36-year-old vessel. The Al-Salam Boccaccio had undergone several conversions to boost its capacity to 1,400 passengers and was sailing under a Panamanian flag. It sank when a fire broke out shortly after setting sail from Duba, in Saudi Arabia. The European Commission has been concerned about the oversight of shipping classification societies. According to news.ft.com, Rina inspected the seaworthiness of the Red Sea ferry twice last year. The vessel had passed safety tests a day before it set sail. Several survivors have claimed that there was a shortage of life-saving equipment on board. Brussels is hoping that the Red Sea ferry disaster, as well as a recent potentially disastrous collision between a chemical tanker and a bulk carrier in the English Channel, will convince EU governments to consider swiftly its proposals for tighter maritime safety legislation. (Source: news.ft.com)
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