IMO releases "Guidelines for ships in an emergency"

The IMO has now released MSC.1/Circ.1251 : "Guidelines on the control of ships in an emergency for Member Governments, shipmasters, companies, salvors and others engaged in a maritime emergency", which was approved by MSC 83 earlier this month.


The guidelines seek to provide a framework of authority for masters, salvors and coastal states in case of an emergency.


The guidelines recognise that in an emergency the lines of command and control must be clear and the responsibilities of each of the parties involved must be unambiguous.


There are two major issues which the guidelines address:


  1. Having a clear chain of command in an emergency is essential if efforts to save life and property and prevent pollution are to be maximised; 
  2. There has been a growing tendency for those involved in an incident to be treated as if they had committed a crime. These Guidelines will help to clarify the issues related to the fair treatment of seafarers.
Contact: Fredrik Larsson