The MSC Flaminia en route to Germany

20 Aug 2012

MSC Flaminia
Press release no. 3

The MSC Flaminia could find refuge in Bremerhaven, Germany. Bremerhaven not only has docks avalaible for unloading MSC Flaminia, a process that will take several weeks, but also a dry dock for emergency repairs. The normal stopover time for a container ship of this size is a few hours. This remote destination requires the convoy to cross the English Channel and the North Sea. Germany is taking its responsibility as the MSC Flaminia flies the German flag. It is unfortunate that France, the United Kingdom and other countries closer to the current position of the MSC Flaminia were unable or unwilling to take charge of the ship.

It is a matter of urgency that the European Union decides on practical management protocols for container ships that have suffered accidents. The MSC Flaminia has a capacity of 6,500 containers and was only transporting 2,876. The main European ports handle container ships with a capacity of up to about 13,000 containers.

The return of MSC Flaminia to a port of refuge is urgent due to approaching tides and autumn depressions. If it were to sink in the Atlantic Ocean, the currents and drifts would disperse hundreds of containers posing many risks to both maritime safety and the environment.

A detailed inventory of the materials on-board is still not known. MSC occasionally transports radioactive materials for industrial or medical applications. There is an element of doubt in this respect.


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