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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Expert urges caution against ship accidents

Tuesday, 09 June 2009

Since the number of cargo ships carrying oil and gas have increased sharply in the last five years, countries in the Gulf region should remain vigilant to avoid sea accidents, a top official of the marine industry said yesterday.
Capt A Munem Al Janahi, Director of Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC), said Gulf states have effective and modern marine monitoring system but the threat is always there because carriers coming in and out at the sea ports have continue to increase every year.
I would say it is not yet safe as the shipping traffic has increased tremendously in the last five years, Al Janahi told
The Peninsula on the sidelines of the Tanker, Gas Safety Operations, Chemical and other Harmful/Hazardous Substances (LNG) Seminar yesterday at the Grand Regency Hotel.
Al Janahi was one of the speakers at the seminar which has been jointly orghanised by the Ministry of Environment, MEMAC and the Regional Organisation for the Protection of the Marine Environment. According to Al Janahi, there is a significant increase in carriers coming to the region with 49,500 recorded last year from 47,000 in 2007 and 41,000 in 2006 and this will continue to rise for a long period because of the ever increasing demand for energy. He, however, assured that Gulf member states are always prepared to face any eventuality more than ever. He cited an example of how marine authorities prevented the collision between a container ship and oil tanker, about six miles from Jebel Ali Port in Dubai last February.
We need more training and more mechanisms to deal with all these challenges, Al Janahi said even as he noted that the regions maritime authorities share experiences and equipment while MEMAC had satellite monitoring system that can detect any type of cargo on board ships.
Ibrahim Al Himr, Technical Director at the Ministry of Environment, said the two-day seminar on maritime safety would enhance technical capacity-building for participants to help them mitigate the difficulties in protecting the environment since the Arab world is much more exposed to risk of ship accidents.
Source: The Peninsula Qatar