With no final investigation report in sight for the Costa Concordia tragedy the International Chamber Of Shipping, ICS, has expressed its frustration at what appears to be slow movement despite the International Maritime Organisation’s urging Italy to get its act together. Several flag states are notable for lack investigation reporting and non-compliance with the IMO Casualty Code.
On 13 January 2012, at 21:45 local time, Costa Concordia hit a rock off Isola del Giglio A 53-metre long gash was made in the hull, along 3 compartments of the engine room ; power to the engines and ship services was cut off. Taking on water, the vessel started to list to port. At least 32 people died in the incident.
A recent ICS board review of the continuing response at IMO to the Costa Concordia cruise ship tragedy, and welcomed the measures that have so far been taken forward relating to passenger safety and evacuation procedures.
Says ICS Chairman, Masamichi Morooka : “The response of IMO so far has been measured and reasonable and we have been impressed by the commitment amongst governments to avoid knee jerk reactions but IMO is under increasing pressure to take forward far more radical steps in advance of Italy publishing the complete results of its accident investigation, which it has still singularly failed to do. Given the seriousness of the disaster, which happened over a year ago, this failure by Italy is simply unacceptable. We still have no official understanding of what the underlying causes were with respect to an accident that really should never have happened.”
ICS believes that the Costa Concordia tragedy has highlighted the seemingly inadequate obligations on the part of flag states to submit the results of accident investigations to IMO. The impasse created by the failure of Italy to report definitively on such a serious casualty indicates that action may be needed in an area where other flag states are also commonly guilty with respect to less high profile incidents which are nevertheless serious and from which important safety lessons could be learned.
The ICS Board agreed that, in discussion with governments, ICS will take forward proposals to IMO as to how the obligations of flag states with respect to casualty reports might be strengthened. These will probably draw on the obligations that the EU now places upon its Members States, with a view to seeing if these might be applied on a global basis.