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  • Concerns over another collision off Gibraltar

    27th May 2011

    “A report in the Gibraltar Chronicle that a minor collision occurred off Gibraltar this week between a Chinese ship and a floating petrol vessel anchored in the bay is of extreme concern to the ESG. This is a grave reminder of the very real threat posed to our environment from existing maritime activity. This “minor” collision reminds us that even with the application of best technology such as Vessel Tracking Systems in place and trained personnel that – accidents do and will continue to happen.

    In a press release issued by the ESG in January 2011 we highlighted this risk in response to the official launch by the Port of Gibraltar of its new VTS monitoring technology. We expressed concerns then that while the VTS would have an immaculate record of what happened, it would not necessarily be able to prevent an incident. This latest collision demonstrates how our concerns have been realised and how important it is for the Gibraltar Government to rethink its planned bunkering expansion to the East Side. The ESG believes that VTS should be used to increase distance between ships and therefore safety, and not to increase shipping density.”


    See below ESG PR Jan 2011 on VTS

    ESG on the VTS (Vessel Tracking System)        13th January 2011

    The ESG welcomes the news of the VTS system finally being introduced in the Port of Gibraltar. The group also expects that the new safety cushion created by the system on the present level of shipping should not once again be eroded by increasing the amount of shipping. This is akin to the refinery reducing air emissions per ton of oil processed but then increasing its capacity to negate this and even add more pollution.

    If traffic is increased so that there is a greater concentration of shipping around Gibraltar this will further reduce the distance between ships and/or the reaction time available to the Port to react to a crisis situation which will make serious shipping incidents very likely.

    The ESG adds that we might have an immaculate record of what happened and how it happened but the incident will not have been avoided.

    The group takes this opportunity of urging the Gibraltar Government to rethink current plans to expand bunkering activity to the eastern side of the Rock