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Monday, April 23, 2018

ATHENS REPORT: INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON TANKER SAFETY, POLLUTION PREVENTION, SPILL RESPONSE AND COMPENSATION

A full meeting room with over 200 delegates joined the International seminar on Tanker Safety, Pollution Prevention, Spill Response and Compensation on Thursday afternoon. The event was sponsored by ITOPF and INTERTANKO in association with Ceres Hellenic Shipping.

The morning session chaired by Lars Carlsson, Chairman of INTERTANKO, had presentations from Mans Jacobsson, International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds, Chris Havers, West of England Shipowners Insurance Services and Svein Ringbakken, INTERTANKO. The presentations focused on recent developments in the international compensation scheme with comments from the P&I Clubs and tanker owners.

The afternoon session, chaired by Nick Fistes, member of INTERTANKO's Executive Committee, opened with Lars Carlsson outlining the shipowners role in the safety chain with concluding remarks asking for cooperation through INTERTANKO, as it is one of the best universities for shipping, and to strive to make tanker shipping an accident free business. Following on from this, Mike Shuker, Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises presented a shipowners approach to managing safety and addressed major elements which his company considers vital for safe operations:

  • Develop and apply a safety culture at shore and onboard at all levels
  • Allocate resources for training at site and at shore
  • Provide for safe practices in vessel operation, both at sea and in port
  • Provide a safe working environment
  • Establish safeguards against identified risks
  • Continuously improve the safety management skills of shipboard and shore-based personnel
  • Be ready to respond to emergencies related to safety

Karl Lumbers, Thomas Miller P&I Ltd questioned the role of the mutual insurer in relation to tanker safety and quality which was followed by a presentation of the role by ITOPF by Ian White, ITOPF's Managing Director. ITOPF has an immense amount of practical experience and Dr White urged INTERTANKO's members to take advantage of their membership and use it.

The concluding speakers focused on local Greek community issues and attitudes. Lieutenant Commander Sabatakakis from the Hellenic Coast Guard explained that measures taken by Greece for the protection of the marine environments were modern and in harmony with international rules and standards. However their effectiveness strongly depends on the active support of the citizens and contribution needs to be an everyday practice rather than simply remaining a theory. It also calls up for multi-national cooperation and decisions focusing on long-term considerations in the use of resources. Perhaps the answer to this came from the last speaker, Mr D C Mitsatsos, HELMEPA who concluded the seminar by advocating voluntary educational programmes similar to that of HELMEPA Junior. They are the future of our society. These should be jointly supported and implemented by relevant countries as a social contribution to tanker shipping. In this way, he said, decision makers will witness the resolve and the proactive attitude of the industry while consumers, that is the ordinary people, will grow to appreciate the tanker industry's serious commitment to service and the protection of the marine environment.

Contact: Clarice Tan for the full text of the seminar presentations