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Thursday, January 18, 2018

POINTS OF VIEW

Just what the tanker industry is up against in its efforts to project a positive image can be seen in newspaper articles where a bulk carrier or a wood chip carrier or a container vessel may be described as a ‘tanker’. If some ship is involved in an accident, especially if there is pollution, the assumption often is that it must be a tanker.

This week has seen yet another example which takes this habit beyond all boundaries of reason. The culprit? London’s Evening Standard.

Sitting next to a top class, attention-grabbing picture of higgledy-piggledy, mangled luxury cars inside the recently sliced-up Tricolor, which capsized and sank last December in the English Channel, the article starts off:

“A huge section of the tanker that sank in the Channel with a £60m cargo of executive cars arrived on dry land today.”

Just one slip? Unfortunately not. The article continues, “Salvage teams sliced through the wreckage of the 50,000 tonne Norwegian-registered tanker Tricolor after lifting it from the bottom of the sea. The tanker sank on 14 December last year carrying 3,000 Volvos, BMWs and Saabs.”

The article was written by the paper’s motoring editor… Was the shipping editor on holiday? No, the principal evening paper in the world’s number one shipping city does not have a shipping editor, we’re told.

Will the Evening Standard publish INTERTANKO’S letter to the editor? Watch this space.