Category Archives: Sem categoria
Canadian and Chilean rescuers have been presented with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea 2012, during a special ceremony held on 26 November 2012 at IMO Headquarters in London.
Ten years after one of Europe’s worst oil disasters, the captain of the Prestige tanker blamed Spain for sending his vessel away from the coast and into the stormy Atlantic.
Facing trial a decade to the day after his tanker sent an SOS that heralded the biggest oil spill in Spanish history, the 77-year-old Greek skipper criticised the decisions taken by the Spanish authorities.
“The ship was cracked and they sent it out to the ocean,” said the captain, Apostolos Mangouras. “It was the worst alternative. They sent us in a floating coffin … to drown.”
Mangouras said that on November 15, two days after sending a distress signal, the Prestige was expecting a storm.
“Where were we going? Eight souls were aboard,” he told the prosecutor.
The captain said he did not specifically ask to go into port because he believed the tanker was being sent to shelter.
But after passing the Galician peninsula of Cape Finisterre, he said: “I realised that they were sending the boat out to the ocean.”
Mangouras said he had visually checked the hull and ballast tanks before departing Saint Petersburg two months beforehand.
He and the Philippine crew held all the required qualifications, he said.
The ill-fated tanker’s skipper was the first of four accused to testify in the trial over the catastrophe in which tens of thousands of tonnes of thick, sticky oil oozed across the coasts of Spain, Portugal and France.
Prosecutors have charged the captain with criminal damage of the environment and a protected nature reserve and are seeking a combined jail term of 12 years.
They are also demanding more than 4bn euros ($5.0bn) in damages.
Outside the exhibition centre where the trial is being held in the northern port city of A Coruna, Greenpeace activists hung a huge yellow banner asking “Where are the guilty?” along with photographs of various politicians.
Among the photographs was one of right-leaning Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who at the time was deputy prime minister and initially downplayed the gravity of the accident, repeatedly describing the black spots that appeared in the sea where the tanker went down as “small threads of clay”.
The Prestige, a Bahamas-flagged Liberian tanker, was carrying 77,000 tonnes of fuel when it sent a distress call in the midst of a storm off the northwestern Spanish coast on November 13, 2002.
The conservative government in power at the time ordered the Prestige out to sea away from the Spanish coast instead of following an emergency contingency plan prepared by experts that called for it to be brought to port where the leaking oil could be confined.
For six days the tanker drifted in the Atlantic, its hull torn by a leak, before breaking up and foundering 250km off the coast into waters some 4,000m deep, spilling some 50,000 tonnes of oil into the ocean and coastline.
Others charged are Greek chief engineer Nikolaos Argyropoulos and first mate Irineo Maloto, a Filipino whose whereabouts are unknown, and Jose Luis Lopez-Sors, head of the Spanish merchant navy at the time, who ordered the ship out to sea when it was losing fuel.
The trial is due to last until May and hear testimony from 133 witnesses and 100 experts.
On 13 December 2010, an able seaman (AB) fell into the River Clyde from the St Vincent and the Grenadines registered cargo vessel Joanna, while the vessel was alongside in Glasgow, Scotland. He was recovered from the water about 25 minutes later, but could not be resuscitated. The investigation identified that the AB almost certainly fell while climbing up to the port side platform of the straddle lift used to move the vessel’s cargo hatch covers.
From Tradenews, 2012-10-17:
Ermandiasa Gede, 32, passed away on Tuesday nine days after being hospitalised in Livorno, despite intensive attempts to save him.
MSC Cruises released a statement expressing its sadness at the news of his death, while praising the efforts of the Italian hospital staff.
Three colleagues were also taken ill on the 92,000-gt MSC Orchestra (built 1997).
According to the company, a 47-year-old Italian cook from the ship was still on life support, but his condition had “improved markedly” in recent days.
A 26-year-old Brazilian crew member and a 32-year-old Filipino had recovered.
The four were diagnosed with symptoms of meningococcal meningitis, which attacks the brain and spinal cord and is contagious in cases of close and prolonged contact.
Antibiotics were distributed to the 3,000 passengers and other crew members as a precautionary measure.