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NEW FLAME COLLISION – PORT LOOKOUT AND THE NEED TO ENSURE THE COMPATIBILITY OF USES OF THE SEA

 

gibfocus - 15th August 2007
(2007-08-15 15:25:00 )



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The Progressive Democracy Party has today issued their own views on the handling of the Cargo Ship collision this weekend. In a statement a spokesperson for the PDP said, “The handling by the essential services of the collision between the New Flame and a Danish Tanker on Sunday has been excellent and deserves to be commended.

“However this episode and recent events calls into question whether the Government’s decision in 2006 to close the Port Lookout was wise. The purpose of such a Lookout had always been to view shipping movements and provide necessary alerts and guidance. It may be that this incident was largely caused by human error aboard the vessel and to that extent it is not clear whether this would have happened anyway. However it is pertinent to consider that this is the second incident involving large merchant vessels within a few months and as such the additional precautionary measure of the reinstatement of the Port Lookout should be considered.

“ The Government has already announced there will be an investigation into this incident and that the results of this will be made public. The Progressive Democratic Party welcomes that announcement and looks forward to the publication of the review recommendations. The opportunity should be taken in that review to consider:

1. whether the decision to decommission the Port Lookout should now be reversed with immediate effect;

2. whether oil pollution mechanisms and resources need to be strengthened;

3. whether the procedures governing the use of Gibraltar waters by merchant shipping now need changing.

Clearly shipping is very important to our economy but a balance must also be struck with environmental concerns, our equal desire to protect our marine reserve as part of our heritage and the leisure use of our waters by our citizens. All these activities are compatible if they are properly regulated and the time has come not just to look at this isolated incident but to commission a much deeper review of protocols that should govern activities in our waters.”

 

 


 


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