Shipowners feel pressed to cope with accidental pollutions at sea in order to limit the risks of financial compensations
Last June, the Canadian Coast Guard have filed a complaint against the MV Clipper Adventurer cruise ship and its owners. They claimed a $500,000 compensation for the damages caused by the shipwreck.
The MV Clipper Adventurer cruise ship ran aground in august 2010 with 128 passengers onboard in the Coronation Gulf, in Nunavut, Canada. It hit an unchartered rock. However, the Coast Guard declared that, contrary to owners’ declaration, this rock was known by mariners as a hazard.
The MV Clipper Adventurer was a « small » cruise ship compared to the Costa Concordia and its 4200 passengers onboard and 2400 tons of oil in its tanks. Imagine one second the consequences of a maritime accidental pollution of this scale. The financial compensations would match up to the disaster caused: gigantic. But, the cruise ships do not constitute the highest threat for the environment: the biggest oil tankers reach 400m long and can carry up to 500 000m² of oil.
Yet, efficient solutions exist to prevent the consequences of accidental pollutions and they are available right now. The Maritime Passive Safety Association provides new solutions to reduce the potential impact of accidents on the environment. They are called leak preventers, FOR Systems or magnetic patches. These technologies are preinstalled onboard equipments that reduce pollutants’ leaks and accelerate oil recovery operations after the accident happens. Our case study RENA has shown that if the container ship RENA had been equipped with Fast Oil Recovery Systems (FOR Systems), the salvage operations could have been halved. It would have avoided New Zealand having to experience its worst ever pollution and saved the authorities and the owners of the Rena the tens of millions of dollars they had to spend on complex salvage operations. The shipowners have the solutions to cope with these risks, their responsibility in case of accidents and accidental pollutions will be higher than ever.
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