Chevron Responsible for Runaway Barge, MUA Charges

By MarEx 2012-11-30 16:16:01

The Maritime Union of Australia has placed blame on Chevron for a runaway barge off Australia.

They released the following statement today: 

Salvage crews are rushing to regain control of a barge, with approximately 12 on board, that has reportedly run aground on a reef off Cervantes this morning.

The MUA's Western Australia Branch Secretary Chris Cain said the union has repeatedly warned Chevron about the risk of such an incident.

“This ship should never have left the port. Lives are now at risk and the reef is at risk,” Mr Cain said.

“For two years the MUA has argued that a procedure needs to be put in place for this sort of event. We believe that had the MUA’s recommendations had been heeded, this potential disaster would never have happened.”

The barge was under contract to Chevron and was carrying diesel fuel, construction equipment, vehicles and other items towards Barrow Island.

Crews are fighting swells of up to six metres as they try to gain control over the barge.

“Chevron claims it can predict the weather seven days in advance and will not go in a storm, yet this storm was predicted and Chevron took the risk anyway," Mr Cain said.

“Now the companies are arguing they want to tow two barges at once, which is adding new risk.