World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


ITF on US Coast Guard's Deepwater Horizon Report

ITF on US Coast Guard's Deepwater Horizon Report

Statement by ITF seafarers section chair, David Heindel

“The US Coast Guard's recent report on the Deepwater Horizon tragedy reinforces the International Transport Workers' Federation's long-held position that so-called flag-of-convenience or runaway-flag vessels often facilitate and even encourage unsafe business practices.

The ITF recognizes that there are conscientious FOC operators and many have well trained crews (regardless of their nationality), but many FOC operators have no regard for the mariners, their competency and other victims who suffer as a result of the runaway-flag system. Putting swift profits ahead of safety, runaway-flag entities also risk catastrophic environmental damage like that which occurred last year when the rig exploded.

“The ITF applauds the Coast Guard's focus on what happens when a flag state fails to oversee that its vessels comply with ISM and other international minimum standards. When rules and regulations are or become lax, conditions can deteriorate into confusion and chaos. This was seen aboard the Deepwater Horizon when it was off the Gulf Coast of the United States last year. It was not registered in the United States we has a rich maritime history, but instead with the Marshall Islands which lacks a strong regulatory regime.

“In addition, international maritime organizations such as the ITF see such dangerous examples daily off the coast of Somalia, the Gulf of Oman where 40% of the world's oil supply originates and in the Indian Ocean, as pirates count on such poor conditions to raid and capture under-crewed, under-prepared vessels and crews and poorly maintained vessels sailing under runaway flags. Piracy obviously pre-dates runaway-flag shipping, but the very same FOC system that arguably led to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy also is hampering international efforts to fight back against the modern version of at-sea terrorism. Without runaway flags, the vital task of ending piracy would be immeasurably easier as traditional maritime States would seek to protect their nation’s respective assets.”


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Climate Strike: At UN, Youth Activists Press For Bold Action

This first-ever UN Youth Climate Summit follows Friday’s global ‘climate strike’, which saw millions of young people from across the globe walk out of school and jam streets in major cities, from New York to New Delhi and Santiago to San Francisco. More>>


Pacific: Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva Dies, Aged 78

A constant thorn in the side of the monarchy and nobility, Mr Pohiva's lifelong battle for representation had seen him fired from the public service and charged with sedition... More>>


Untied Kingdom: UK PM Moves To Suspend Parliament In Weeks Before Brexit

The Prime Minister has briefed Cabinet colleagues that the government will bring forward an ambitious new legislative programme for MPs’ approval, and that the current parliamentary session will be brought to an end. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>