Association de citoyens qui défendent l'environnement maritime



15 years ago, on 12 December 1999,

the M/T "ERIKA", a substandard vessel, flying Maltese flag, sank off the Brittany coast, with 31 000 tons of oil waste on board. All 26 crewmembers were rescued by the Navy. The ship left the Port of Dunkirk few days earlier. Is it sure that this disaster cannot happen again? Despite all declarations made after the sinking…

On 13 December 1999, As ever in such situations of visible pollution, criticism grew :"we should have" etc.... But things never go as planned.

Maritime security should be considered upstream. Will another “ Erika” be allowed to sail from a French or European port in the same conditions ? Yes … MOR GLAZ reminds the disaster of the vessel “Prestige” in November 2002. Maritime security depends primarily on the willingness to allow or not a substandard ship to sail.

After this accident, bad habits were supposed to be prohibited and replaced by new standards “strict rules”, double hulls, most regular and frequent ships inspections, shelter ports etc. What is the situation today?

Oil tankers are not the only dangers at sea. Dangers are extended: giant container ships able of carrying 18,000 containers (sometimes overweight) with various products and able to losing hundreds of these "boxes" in a night: these ships represent a real danger to the environment and navigation ; giant ships able of carrying (including crew) 8500 people.

No country in the world can cope with these “giants of the sea” in the opinion of MOR GLAZ. .

Since September 1, 2011, MOR GLAZ association has drawn attention of elected officials, Ministries and Administrations about the lack of resources in the Bay of Biscay to address with an emergency situation ....

What will they tell us at the next sinking ? Because many ERIKA, tanker ships or not, sail every day off the French and European coasts, owned by "pseudo-shipowners' and chartered by people without scrupulous.

On behalf of MOR GLAZ President, Jean-Paul HELLEQUIN