EU Committee on Safety-at-Sea Addresses Three Key Issues

By MarEx 2008-04-02 00:00:00

While some committee members are calling for the establishment of a European Coast Guard, others have pointed out that this would be even more complicated that the creation of an EU army. Unfortunately, it was acknowledged that too many member states have organized their coast guards very differently.

There are growing concerns over the number of single-hull Russian tankers transporting crude in non-open seas such as the Baltic and the Mediterranean, which could lead to environmental disasters. The commission is looking into the situation now.

Raul Garcia, representing the World Wildlife Fund, said that it would take at least 10 to 20 years for the marine environment to recover from the Prestige disaster. He has asked for EU legislation to tackle any environmental problems in case there is another maritime disaster.

Ramon Herman, representing the Spanish oil company, Repsol, is confident that no more oil will leak from the Prestige and that the salvage operation can begin next year.

Lastly, Eduard Landrain, chaiman of the French Assembly?s inquiry committee on maritime safety, said that coordination, investment, and technical equipment such as tugs and salvage vessels at the EU level could prevent another maritime disaster of this kind.