Shpping officials from 16 nations met in London today (Thursday) to consider drastic changes in the design and handling of oil tankers.
Shpping officials from 16 nations met in London today (Thursday) to consider drastic changes in the design and handling of oil tankers. Britain called this special session of the United Nations Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organisation (IMCO) after the Liberian tanker, Torrey Canyon, ran aground in March, fouling British and French beaches with its oil.
The two-day IMCO council conference is not an inquiry into the Torrey Canyon disaster, but Britain wants it to consider whether the lessons of that incident call for a change in international sea law.
British suggestions include traffic lanes in crowded waters, speed limits, extra navigational aids and new international regulations for the design of tankers.
Another aspect for discussion is the adoption of international measures to limit damage after tanker accidents. More research into the prevention of oil pollution is also suggested.
Britain and France have spent huge sums on the fight to rid holiday beaches of oil from the Torrey Canyon. So the IMCO conference will be asked to consider compelling shipowners to take out third party insurance.
Delegates from Japan, the world's biggest builder of tankers, were expected to report on progress made by a Government enquiry into the safety aspects of giant tankers.