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MOR GLAZ association report Landerneau 23 February 2016

The MOR GLAZ association is pleased, as are many others, that the activity in Brest ship repair yard has resumed despite the global crisis in ship contruction and repair.

The MOR GLAZ association has observed that in the port of Brest, there are all the necessary criteria, to carry out an excercise , similar to that done in March 2013 with the " CMA CGM MARCO POLO ".

Such an excercise, with the " EMMA MAERSK " (overall length 398metres, breadth 56 metres, draught 16 metres) at present under repair in Brest would help to determine if the present salvage facilities are adequate for this size of ship during storm conditions? It would also help to ascertain that this type of ship is equipped with the necessary equipment, so that a tow can be quickly and efficiently made fast on board. (in an emergency, depending on the ship position)

Are the mooring bollards where the towing hawser is made fast, strong enough to resist a towing force greater than 200 tonnes?

For the MOR GLAZ association, serious shipowners (which do exist) should be forerunners and not wait for IMO recommendations which are often slow, imposing certain measures on unwilling shipowners, (which also exist)

It is perhaps not useful to await disaster in order to properly equip ships, so that towing lines can be quickly made fast. Thus avoiding long periods of drifting, putting sailors' lives, other ships, the environment and material loss at serious risk!

The mad scramble for bigger and bigger ships continues. This will mean, sooner or later that those countries where these giant vessels sail, will be forced to put in place more powerful (greater bollard pull) tugs than those actually in place in Boulogne, Cherbourg, Brest and Toulon. Also IMO and the European Agency for Maritime Safety must be lobbied, avoiding unnecessary meetings.....there must be a rapid decision.

In 2005, when the tugs Abeilles BOURBON and LIBERTE were commissioned, container ships carried 9,000 to 11,000 containers. In 10 years, capacity has doubled, but the accident risk has increased 3 or 4 fold. These ships have large areas exposed to the wind (windage) which is dangerous and precludes certain manoeuves. There is also an increase in the range and volume of dangerous cargo loaded in the same ship.

In 2012, 16,000 TEUs (20 foot Equivalent Units 1TEU = 38,5 cu metres), en 2013 18,000 TEUs,

en 2015 19,000 TEUs,

en 2017 22,000 TEUs and after?

These giants over 400m long and more than 54m breadth, cannot be assisted or salvaged in winds greater than 35 knots and heavy seas with any of the nautical means existing either in France or anywhere else in the world.

For the MOR GLAZ association, this scramble to gigantism is dangerous " but it exists ", therefore the salvage means must be reinforced and appropriate, throughout Europe and the world.

The MOR GLAZ association requests IMO and ship insurers to impose on shipowners the above recommendations and the JLMD Ecologic System for rapid and simple oil recovery in case of grounded, damaged or sunken ships.

Jean-Paul HELLEQUIN MOR GLAZ association Chairman


c/c : Président de le République, Premier Ministre, Madame Ségolène Royal, Secrétaire d'Etat aux Transports, Direction des Affaires Maritimes, Secretariat Général à la Mer