Following the recent Philippines ferry crash
Nautilus International has called for urgent action to end ‘double standards on safety’ following a fresh ferry accident in the Philippines.
So far, 126 people are reported as dead or missing and 750 were rescued when the 40-year-old passenger ferry St Thomas of Aquinas sank within minutes after a collision with the cargoship Sulpicio Express 7 near the port of Cebu in the central Philippines.
Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson said the incident highlighted the global variation in safety standards for ferries. ‘This ferry would not be allowed to operate in northern Europe, and it is scandalous that the world seems ready to tolerate second-class rules for different regions.
‘This tragic accident and the accompanying loss of life is an all-too familiar story, and it is time for the double standards to be brought to an end,’ he added.
The Union says all ferries that do not meet the International Maritime Organisation’s Safety of Life at Sea convention 1990 and Stockholm standards – which were adopted in response to the Herald of Free Enterprise and Estonia disasters – should be withdrawn as a first step, and then all newbuild vessels should be constructed to reduce the risk of capsize.
‘Domestic shipping and domestic passenger shipping has long been the poor cousin of international regulatory action,’ pointed out Mr Dickinson. ‘How many more tragic accidents must occur before the international maritime community takes action?’