John M Lyras, Chairman of the London P&I Club, has called for concerted international action on the provision of places of refuge for ships involved in casualties.
Writing in the club’s 2014 Annual Report, Lyras commented, “Nearly twelve years after the Prestige disaster, it is particularly disappointing to receive reports of other shipping casualties where efforts to mitigate pollution or other risks have been hampered by a reluctance to provide the ships involved with a place of refuge.”
Referencing the widely publicized incidents involving the containership MSC Flaminia and the chemical tanker Maritime Maisie, Lyras added, “There is no easy answer. It is understandable that communities in areas of coastline where refuge may be sought will be reluctant to be exposed to the risk of pollution. But, as the Prestige incident illustrated, and as the risk potentially posed by other ships highlights, there remains a compelling need for further concerted international action in this area.
“As part of that, the efforts of the International Group of P&I Clubs – including its outreach program and ongoing work to engage with governments and authorities over issues involving both places of refuge and the removal of wrecks – are of great importance.”