Association de citoyens qui défendent l'environnement maritime

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Thursday 11th February 2016 The grounding of the “CSCL Indian Ocean” into the Elbe (river leading to the port of Hamburg) raises the issue of giant ships, near and into the ports.

This incident shows that the Association “MOR GLAZ” was rightly worried about these ships that can carry up to 19,000 containers (22,000 soon). These containers carry all types of products which are not clearly identified!

These “big ships” are here ... So we have to, we "can" accept them. But we have not to suffer them.

The European Union, the States, the International Maritime Organization, the European Maritime Safety Agency have to update the laws and issue strict rules to face the risks of these vessels.

In 2013, the Association “MOR GLAZ” recommended, "suggested" to put in place more powerful tugs (100 tons of bollard pull) into the ports of call of these ships... Over 250 tons of traction for rescue tugs, including to cover the Bay of Biscay. This is why the Association “MOR GLAZ” recommends more resources...

In 2005, when the tugs “ABEILLE BOURBON” et “ABEILLE LIBERTE” were established, container ships were carrying 9000 / 11 000 containers. Ten years later, the capacity has doubled. Dangers have been multiplied by 3 or 4: problems of maneuvering, multiplication of dangerous cargo on the same vessel etc! In 2012: 16.000 TEU, in 2013: 18,000 TEU, in 2015: 19,000 TEU, in 2017: 22,000 TEU. And after ? We need tugs more powerful than the ABEILLE BOURBON and ABEILLE LIBERTE (last news in the Elbe have proved that we are right).

MOR GLAZ Association requests more tugs with more power in France. All merchant ships and especially these big ships should be equipped with a towing system (see the website) in order to hitch quickly the vessel and avoid unnecessary risks to rescuers.

According to MOR GLAZ, the International Maritime Organization and insurers must require shipowners to equip ships with JLMD Ecologic System (look at the website).

The situation is really unbelievable. After having done everything to receive these big ships (a lot of public money was invested with a competition between ports etc) now the same actors in the ports of Northern Europe do not stop to demonize big container ships. Some even suggest moving the danger by sending the ships to other ports (from Hamburg to Wilhelmshaven). It should have been thinking before... The only way to try to deal with the ecological, human and economic dangers is to anticipate and impose the suggestions listed above!

On behalf of MOR GLAZ Jean-Paul HELLEQUIN, President