Davies has maritime safety fears

In the wake of recent accidents involving cruise ships, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr Omar Davies is concerned about Jamaica’s level of preparedness to conduct mass rescue operations.

Davies has maritime safety fears

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

MONTEGO BAY, St James — In the wake of recent accidents involving cruise ships, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr Omar Davies is concerned about Jamaica’s level of preparedness to conduct mass rescue operations in the event of similar occurrences in local waters.

Noting that the world’s two largest cruise liners call frequently at Jamaican ports, Dr Davies made reference to the January 2012 shipwreck of the Costa Concordia, which left 32 people dead in Italy.

“I am just thinking in Jamaica’s case where we are visited on a regular basis by the two largest cruise liners what would be our action plan if either got into problems in Jamaican waters,” Dr Davies said.

The transport minister articulated the need for an integrated Caribbean approach towards tackling the issue of mass rescue operations from distressed cruise vessels.

“With the recent events involving the Costa Concordia in Italy, steps should also be taken to look at a regional framework for mass rescue operations from cruise ships which are in distress,” Dr Davies argued.

“In our attempts to comply with the various IMO Instruments governing the safety of shipping, pollution prevention and the competence of seafarers, many of our independent States and territories have faced significant human and financial resources challenges,” Dr Davies added.

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Source: Jamaica Observer.

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