Association de citoyens qui défendent l'environnement maritime

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On the 9th of April 2015, this will be 10 years "already 10 years that the "ABEILLE BOURBON" insures the protection of the coastline at the tip of Brittany under the authority of the Maritime Prefect of the Atlantic coast. The "ABEILLE BOURBON" is on watch on permanence, with 12 seamen on board, 24 hours a day, capable of leaving the port within 20 minutes if necessary, 365 days a year.

We had to fight, explain to convince for more than 10 years, to have this very performant ship to guard more than 170 ships who pass each day off the coast of Brittany, and to give assistance if necessary.

It has taken a lot of time and action and the engagement of several people who were convinced, the mobilisation of thousands of people in the year 2000, to ask, to demonstrate, to require the necessity of this sort of sea-going tug to protect the seafarers, the goods, the environment and to avoid the sinking of ships who often become a tragedy.

On the 9th of April 2005 at midnight, the famous and mythic "ABEILLE FLANDRE" left his dock at Brest to continue his public service missions in the Mediterranean under the authority of the Maritime Prefect of the Mediterranean zone.

Since 1992, several elected members of the establishment council of the company "Les Abeilles" the CGT union of the western coast and since 2001, MOR GLAZ Association have fought, mobilised with no relentless, under different forms to obtain the replacement of the vessels who protect the coastline under the authority of the maritime prefect.

In April and October 2005, the two tugs ABEILLE FLANDRE and ABEILLE LANGUEDOC (who replaced in 1979 the ABEILLE NORMANDIE and ABEILLE PROVENCE at Brest and Cherbourg) were replaced by ABEILLE BOURBON and ABEILLE LIBERTE.

The ABEILLE BOURBON entered the fleet, due to the motivation, several visionaries, several people who were engaged, mobilised much more than others… Two Maritime Prefects (who will recognise themselves) invested themselves, convinced their hierarchy and the French government of the interest, the necessity to replace the actual sea-going tugs but also to assign the "ABEILLE LANGUEDOC" in the Bay of Biscay at la Pallice, reassigned since the 1st of September 2011 in the Pas de Calais leaving the Bay of Biscay without any mean of assistance.

Since there is no tugboat in the Bay of Biscay, MOR GLAZ has many meetings so that a tugboat is to be positioned in a port of the Atlantic coast to cover this zone. On the 27th of February 2015, as many times as since the 1st of September 2011, a disaster has been avoided narrowly once more by chance as the sea-going tug MALABAR belonging to the French navy was in the zone.

Facing the increasing danger, the gigantism of the ships, the strong growth of the merchandise that travels by sea, and all the excesses of the maritime transport, the means are insufficient.

MOR GLAZ Association observes that there is a real disengagement of the government and a lack of motivation from the elected politicians of the departments and the regions of the coastline to obtain and require more means, intentions are not enough.

In 2005, the means had been reinforced because the engagement of MOR GLAZ Association was encouraged by some elected officials and specialists who were involved for more safety at sea, certain members of the office of the president Jacques Chirac, but also Guy Guermeur, Gilbert Lebris, Alphonse Arzel, Jean-Yves Cozan, Jean-Claude Gayssot, Laurent Guillot, Gilles de Robien and others, always available to meet us, attentive to our project.

The financial provision for this important investment of 54 million Euros, to build the two powerful tugboats couldn't have worked out without the will, the patience, the long term projects of the group BOURBON, neither without its president Jacques de CHATEAUVIEUX and the general delegate Christian MUNIER. Where the name ABEILLE BOURBON for obvious reasons, despite the polemics about the name of the ship when it arrived at Brest.

At the sight of the results, the number of salvages and assistances done by the tugs ABEILLE FLANDRE and ABEILLE BOURBON, it isn't necessary to demonstrate the mean of this prevention method put in place after the human, economical, ecological disasters that followed the loss of the "AMOCO CADIZ" off the coast of Brittany in March 1978.

How much time and disasters will it need for the government and the elected representatives of the coastal regions to put in place more means to prevent and face the accidents. For MOR GLAZ Association, the rescue means don't follow the increase of the size of new ships. The exercise done on the demand of the action of the state of the sea in March 2013 off the coast of Brittany with the container carrier CMA CGM MARCO POLO should have helped make a conclusion instead of putting the head in the sand. When "the never" from the elected representatives and the maritime and environmental administrations, as usual, the means will be put in place after the next maritime disaster.

The only real way to help ships in difficulty is a sea-going tugboat, chartered at full time, on watch 24 hours a day capable of leaving the port in less than 20 minutes if necessary with a sufficient number of seafarers of the same nationality, ships in a perfect sate with a total of 200 tonnes of traction at the tow hook, registered with a French flag, managed by a French ship-owner so things are clear in all sectors, socially, technically, financially, etc…

Good sailing and successful continuation to ABEILLE BOURBON and its crew.