Safety at sea highlighted as Seychelles marks Maritime Day


25-September-2012

A ceremony to mark the occasion was held yesterday at the Maritime Training Centre (MTC) in the presence of a number of guests.

The ceremony also coincided with the official launch of the MTC’s Open Day (see separate article above).

Among the guests were the Minister for Natural Resources and Industry Peter Sinon, principal secretary for Education Merida Delcy, the Chinese ambassador to Seychelles Shi Zhonjun, the acting director of the MTC Brian Hoareau and the director general of the Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration Joachim Valmont.

A message from the secretary general of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Koji Sekimizu, was read by Captain Valmont.

“Since its formation, the IMO’s main task has been to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for international shipping. The direct output of the IMO’s regulatory framework is a comprehensive body of international conventions, supported by literally hundreds of guidelines and recommendations that, between them, govern just about every facet of the shipping industry – from the drawing board to the scrapyard. The most important result of all this is that shipping today is safer, cleaner and more efficient and more secure than at any other time in the past,” he read.

“But each new generation of vessels brings fresh challenges, and regrettably, accidents still occur, reinforcing the need for continual improvement. Our efforts to promote maritime safety, not least of passenger ships, will never stop. We should respond quickly to accidents and we must be proactive.”

What separates the passenger and cruise ship industry from the rest of shipping is the unique nature of its cargo – hundreds and thousands of people, the message read.

“The lives of thousands of people are in the hands of the ship’s management, the captain, crew and operating staff. I therefore hope that this sector in particular will take the opportunity to lead the way, because safety is its main product – not comfort, entertainment of leisure. Without safety, the industry will not survive, let alone sustain its growth, and real safety does not result simply as a consequence of regulation-compliance,” he read.

“We must generate a new impetus in shipping to go beyond compliance with regulations and explorer industry-wide mechanisms to ensure the safety culture is embedded throughout the entire industry.”

Captain Valmont said a two-day symposium is going to be held at the IMO headquarters in London in June next year on ‘The future of ship safety’.

“The objective is for the discussions to contribute to the future advancement of the organisation’s maritime safety policy,” he said.

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