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CESMA Resolutions 12 May 2012 PDF Drukāt E-pasts
Sestdiena, 12 maijs 2012 00:00

RESOLUTIONS FROM THE CESMA GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON         

12 MAY 2012 AT TECHNOLOGY CENTRE, ROSTOCK GERMANY

Resolution nr. 1: Criminalisation of seafarers.

The 17th Annual General Assembly in Rostock, Germany, again noted that the problem of criminalisation of seafarers and of shipmasters in particular, continues to be a matter of great concern. Motives are not only environmental offences but, among others, also the finding of drugs on board. Recent cases have again shown that co-operation between all parties concerned is the best solution to tackle the problem of criminalisation. CESMA urgently requests shipowners or operators to always provide legal protection to masters, serving on their ships, in case of an incident as a consequence of which they are detained by local authorities, until a verdict has been pronounced. Moreover masters are advised to take a risk insurance into consideration. 

Resolution nr. 2: Piracy and armed robbery.

The Assembly also discussed the problem of piracy and armed robbery against ships in various parts of the world, Somalian and adjacent Indian Ocean waters in particular All means to prevent these criminal acts should be activated to protect the lives of seafarers. Although CESMA is still critical about the use of fire-arms on board as it could escalate violence, it came to the conclusion that present efforts do not adequately protect seafarers from the effects of piracy. Therefore it supports, as a temporary measure, the employment of officially certified armed guard teams on board. It will adopt a practical position in line with European and international organisations on the condition that the authority and responsibility of the master is efficaciously maintained, as recently confirmed by the IMO working group on piracy, even when fire-arms have to be used by the teams when agreed by the master. CESMA also insists on exact rules of engagement to be observed under all circumstances.   

Resolution nr. 3:  Fatigue and safe manning.

The Assembly discussed the final results of the Project Horizon which investigated the consequences of fatigue in connection with maritime safety by means of simulation. It noted with concern that the problem of fatigue is still not attracting enough attention, The requirement of three certified bridge watchkeepers, including the master, on each seagoing vessel of 500 GT and more, is still supported by CESMA. It still denounces the flexibility clause in the stipulation of hours and work in the STCW convention enabling the system of the six on six off watch schedule to be continued as it affects maritime safety and the health of the seafarers concerned. 

Resolution no. 4: Safety of roro- and large passengerships.

The Assembly discussed the safety of roro- and large passengerships and the recent accident with the Italian flagged passengership ”Costa Concordia” in particular. It denounced the public prosecution by the press of the master of the vessel. CESMA will closely follow proceedings of the investigation to ensure a fair judgement of the master. It has offered assistance to the European Commission and the Transport Commission of the European Parliament to co-operate in constituting conclusions and recommendations. Large passengerships with thousands of passengers and crew continue to be very vulnerable, notwithstanding the many tests that newbuilding passengerships have to undergo before all certificates are issued and the many requirements as stipulated by classification societies and the International Maritime Organisation.

Resolution nr. 5: Safety of life saving equipment.

The Assembly discussed again the safety of life saving equipment on board seagoing vessels including  incidents and accidents during drills. It urges international bodies and flag states to introduce proper legislation to improve  safety and design of life saving equipment in order to improve efficiency and avoid fatal accidents.

Resolution nr. 6: Employment of EU seafarers

The Assembly noted with concern that shipowners and operators in the European Union refrain more and more from employing ship officers from European nations, sometimes replacing same by cheaper non Europeans.           This results in unemployment and a receding interest from European young people to choose for a maritime career. CESMA will bring this issue to the attention of the European Commission and Parliament as it contradicts the intention of retaining maritime experience and knowledge in the European Union.

Resolution nr. 7: Safety and Search and Rescue in the Northern Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Latest info shows that the situation in the above waters has somewhat improved with regard to maritime safety and Search and Rescue. Yet CESMA and the Bulgarian Shipmasters’ Association will closely monitor developments and are ready to offer advise for further improvement.