Association de citoyens qui défendent l'environnement maritime



Landerneau 2nd September 2017

When the two hulls belonging to the Danish shipowner MAERSK sank off the Brittany coast on the 21st and 22nd December 2016, the MOR GLAZ Association was criticised for being harsh towards the world's primary shipowner for maritime transport.

Reading the report of the Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board (equivalent of the French Investigation Office for Accidents at Sea) reveals the various unprofessional accumulated circumstances, without any respect for towing rules: those responsible in fact have made little effort!!

-The draft documents considered as final, the transfer of responsibility to the tug, which was also destined for deconstruction towed ships moored together alongside each other to Turkey.

-The tug which did not receive certain messages due to a lack of communication means.

-The tug Captain tried to have weather bulletins using his mobile 'phone. Why does a captain and crew accept the responsibility to go to sea with such a convoy under these conditions ?

The MOR GLAZ association alerted the Minister Madame Ségolène ROYAL about the composition and the dangerousness of this convoy: the shipowner acted as the worst pseudo-shipowners. The Minister's reaction was immediate (within 24 hours). On the 3rd March 2017, at the request of the Minister for the Environment, three MOR GLAZ association officers were interviewed in Brest by 3 government officials.

How did the Danish Authorities and some experts dare to give approval for a departure from the Danish port of Fredericia. This primary shipowner should forbid itself such practices, fenders (between the two hulls) non-compliant (worn and anyway unrealistic) held on by chains passed over the handrails. Several times a solution was decided but abandoned because of cost, according to some sources, insurers were uninformed etc... Some photographs show tyres installed on the bridge wings to avoid the vessels touching, alongside each other, a shoddy ineffectual solution for such a voyage. The economic approach in the most dishonourable manner was retained, chosen, outrageous, improper. These facts are extremely serious.

For the Authorities supposed to enforce the law, and all those who let this convoy leave, there are more worries: page 28 of the report, there is the state of fluids on board. For one of the vessels: 78 tonnes of sludge, fuel 40, specified as bilges 12, hydraulic fluid 6 and even 1 for cargo (oil). Less for the other vessel, but 95 tonnes overall. A normal practice as indicated in the report !

It therefore allows us to question the green passport authenticity which was provided to the French authorities and to doubt that any pollution from the two hulls lying off the Brittany coast has been dismissed.

European legislation requires that vessels being towed to scrapyards to be demolished, must be free of hydrocarbons, including engine sumps.

MOR GLAZ association requests that these two hull are recovered, we also query that the "towing tug" was not diverted to Brest by French Authorities, as is done for polluters. Why didn't the French Authorities dispatch a helicopter on site as soon as the first incidents happened ?

Pour l'association MOR GLAZ Le Président


Translation T. J. & M-L. Davies