Mediterranean crisis is unsustainable

Calls for intergovernmental contact group.

Mediterranean crisis is unsustainable for shipping

Peter Hinchliffe, secretary-general of the International Chamber of Shipping

The terrible tragedy on April 19 is believed to have cost hundreds of people their lives. The incident is potentially game-changing and may at last spur all European Union member states to take the urgent collective action needed to prevent further massive loss of life at sea.

In the past 12 months almost 1,000 merchant ships have been involved with the rescue of about 40,000 people in the Mediterranean. Already in 2015, 1,500 people are estimated to have died attempting to make the dangerous sea crossing: three times the number that perished in the same period last year.

Merchant ships encountering unseaworthy and overcrowded boats, or called upon to assist by the search and rescue authorities, will always respond, as they are bound to do for both legal and moral reasons.

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