Association de citoyens qui défendent l'environnement maritime

- Accueil -


The race to gigantism of ships creates a danger at sea and in ports.

On 20 December 2012, in a press release, MOR GLAZ had denounced gigantic ships: website

On 9 March 2013, a towing exercise took place off the Brittany with the tug " Abeille Bourbon " and the container vessel " MARCO POLO ". This exercise was conducted to verify if the towing means were sufficient to maintain the desired course of this "giant ship of the sea" if she encounters difficulties.

MOR GLAZ had congratulated all those who had helped achieve this exercice and all those who had that idea.

These exercises are useful and should be more frequent. The "Public" money used during these exercises is useful because this is part of prevention.... to test resources.

On 9 March 2013, it has been demonstrated that the existing means at sea " were " and are insufficient to cope with these giant container. The gigantic liner asks more questions.

Maritime transport is changing, it has changed over the last ten years, there will be no backtracking. The gigantic ships keep the same course, always bigger, and faster too!

The gigantism of ships is an additional ground of unsecurity and unsafety for the ports, the sea, and seafarers.

A few questions arise:

1. What is the inventory, the "exact records" and knowledge of the products transported when ships carrying more than 16,000 containers?

2. What would happen if this kind of ship sustains damage out of the area of intervention the "ABEILLE BOURBON" , in the area of the Bay of Biscay, "?

3.In January 2007 the two most powerful tugs in Europe were mobilized to deal with the accident " MSC NAPOLI " who was in the English Channel and who carried only 2,200 containers , some of which represented 1,700 tons of toxic products ( identified ) 4000 m3 of heavy fuel oil for propulsion and 142 m3 of diesel.

4. In addition, if the "MARCO POLO " was in trouble, towards which shelter and port the vessel will have been towed? In case of loss of containers what are the means of the "Préfet Maritime" ?


During our meeting with the Minister's Office of Frédéric Cuvillier , March 11, 2013 , this subject was discussed . MOR GLAZ had also requested that this matter be placed on the agenda of "the Interministerial Committee of the Sea" held in December 2013.

The French ports able to receive these large vessels are: Dunkirk, Le Havre and Marseille- Fos , the Port of Nantes / Saint- Nazaire gets smaller vessels but that port will inevitably grow up . In these ports there are respectivaley :

" 6 tugs : 2 of 70 tons of traction and 4 of 40 tons of traction

" 9 tugs: 3 of 70 tons of traction ; 4 of 65 tons of traction ; 1 of 60 tons; and 1 of 40 tons of traction in reserve.

" 10 tugs: 4 of 70-ton traction; 2 of 50 tons of traction; 4 and 40 tons of traction.

Specialists of shipping industry will soon realize that the means are not sufficient, both in number and power.

MOR GLAZ requests all ports that receive or will receive a called "giants" ships are equipped with more powerful tugs.

The association suggests that:

" in the three major ports , tugs of less than 70 tons of traction will be replaced by tugs of 100 tons or more.

" major ports will be equipped with four tugs of 100 tons or more.

" these tugs will fly the French first Register Flag, manned by 4 seafarers at least, two officers and two ratings.

" finally these will tugs will be built in France , several sites can build these tugs.


Finally, all these large vessels must be equipped (imposed by the International Maritime Organisation ) of JLMD ECOLOGIC SYSTEM , system which is already in place on board ships owned by French shipowners inlcuding vessels owned by Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA).