Maritime Safety, including Container-Ships

Les grands voiliers transportaient de la soie, du camphre, de la cannelle. Aujourd’hui, les géants des mers transportent du nucléaire en bonbonnes, du chimique en citernes, du gaz en cuves. Ils sont des sites Seveso transocéaniques. Gigantisme, cargaisons dangereuses, pavillons sous-normes, car-ferries poubelles, équipages novices au bout du rouleau ou de la routine : le transport maritime est un cruel pourvoyeur de pertes humaines, le vecteur caché des risques industriels et une source quotidienne de pertes de marchandises en mer.

The Modern Express: uprighted but not right

2 Mar 2016

The Modern Express was uprighted on February 22. “For the purposes of the investigation,” the Spanish authorities denied access to the experts, ship-owners, charterers and their representatives until February 26.

Technically speaking, the Modern Express is a roll-on roll-off ship -Pure Car and Truck Carrier- in other words, it is only used for transporting rolling stock.

The Modern Express was loaded with 3600 tons of timber (or 4089 tons according to other sources), divided into four types: okan, azobe, tali and construction machinery. The exotic timbers should have been unloaded in Le Havre and was meant to be sent to European companies.

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Modern Express: The burden of timber

8 Feb 2016

Press Release Modern Express no. 5.

According to her charterer, the Modern Express was carrying 3600 tons of sawn timber. The director of ERL France highlights that car and other rolling stock carriers are not adequate for the transportation of logs (1).

Are the vessels of the category of the Modern Express adapted to the transport of wood bundles? If timber bundles are not strapped and lashed properly in the garage decks, they can break off and tip over. Consequently, thousands of tons of sawn timber can accumulate at one side of the vessel and can induce an irreversible list.

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Modern Express: Are there any stowaways on board?

3 Feb 2016

Press Release Modern Express no.3

Track records suggest that stowaways wishing to immigrate and access to northern European ports try to board in West African ports, with or without the complicity of port agents and crew.

The French ports that are mostly targeted with such often tragic attempts are Marseille, Sète, la Rochelle, Nantes-Saint Nazaire, le Havre and Rouen.

Owendo timber port in Gabon – the departure port of the Modern Express – is known to be a gathering place for immigrants coming from a number of West African countries and trying to get to Europe.

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Where is she going?

1 Feb 2016

Press Release Modern Express no.2

The amended European Union Directive of June 27, 2002 asks all member States to establish plans to accomodate ships in distress in their ports or in any other protected area in the best possible conditions.

The Modern Express is currently under tow and is heading further out to sea. It is understandable that the French maritime authorities initially wish to keep her away from an inhospitable coastline.

Nevertheless, in order to avoid a shipwreck in the middle of the sea, or a potential sinking of the vessel in the Bay of Biscay, it is essential to designate a place of refuge where the salvage teams could benefit from better weather and technical conditions necessary to correct the list of the Modern Express. The vessel is currently in waters under French jurisdiction.

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The solitary journey of the Modern Express

1 Feb 2016

The solitary journey of the Modern Express

The scenario of the ship that refuses to sink is a familiar situation for rescue teams and maritime authorities since the Liberty Ship Flying Entreprise ran adrift in the English Channel in the winter of 1952. A notable difference with the Modern Express is that the master stayed on board till the very end, until he was evacuated, following 15 days of drift and futile efforts to restore the stability of the vessel.

Although relatively recently built, a number of deficiencies have been reported on the Modern Express in the Port of Antwerp since 2012.

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(Français) Frissons en Antarctique

24 Nov 2015

Only in French.

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Tianjin : business as usual

18 Sep 2015

Tianjin : business as usual

CMA CGM Christophe Colomb was at Tianjin from August 12 to August 17. The French container ship is expected at Southampton and Dunkirk on  September 20 and 22. She has been exposed for a long time to the air pollution that followed the explosions and fires occuring from August 12 on at the logistic areas of the Chinese port.

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(Français) Note d’information : migrants en Méditerranée

22 Apr 2015

Only in French.

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Alarm in Cherbourg n°2

23 Mar 2015

Alarm in Cherbourg n°2

Flying the flag of Saint-Vincent-et-Grenadines, the Serval, a tugboat built in 1977, is arriving at Cherbourg. In January 2015, the most recent inspection of the Serval in the port of Gdynia in Poland revealed eleven deficiencies. This precarious state has been noted for the past eight years. In 2007, the Serval had been detained in Denmark with 23 deficiencies.

The Serval is not coming to Cherbourg to be demolished. It’s in the port in Normandy to tow an old, abandoned tuna boat that has been stuck in the wharf since the summer of 2007. It will be towing into the risks and perils of the sea. The Marginella, built in 1985, measures 55 meters in length. Its operating crew comprises 25 sailors. It belongs to the Soviet tuna fishing fleet. It is the last survivor of eleven units of tuna seiners from the Tibiya project, built between 1980 and 1986 with the exception of Tibiya, which was converted into a service boat in the Caspian Sea.

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Ezadeen, the livestock and migrant carrier

2 Jan 2015

Ezadeen, the livestock and migrant carrier

The worse has happened. The smugglers used a livestock carrier to transport men, women and children. The Ezadeen was expected at the port of Sète (France), the leading European port for the export of livestock. Sète came near to import surviving human beings. Like the Blue Sky M and the East Sea, the Ezadeen is an old hull, she is 49 years of age and maritime inspectors in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea have pointed out 204 deficiencies from 2007 to 2014. Initially built as a general cargo carrier, she was converted to livestock carrier in 2010. Her call papers show she is a regular visitor to the port of Beirut and to the Syrian port of Tartous.

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