IMO concern over Limburg incident, experts sent
Maritime Organization is following very closely the developments surrounding
the incident on board the French tanker Limburg off the coast of Yemen
on Sunday, 6 October 2002 and the Secretary-General, Mr. William O’Neil,
when addressing the 48th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee,
reported on his immediate communication with the Governments of France and Yemen
enquiring about the cause of the accident. His concern was focused on any loss
of life and pollution of the marine environment suffered as a result of the
incident as well as whether the evidence available would lead to the conclusion
that it was due to an act of terrorism.
This request was
responded to immediately and two experts arrived at Mukalla last Saturday, 12
October, to assist the Yemeni authorities as requested.
In the meantime, he would advise Governments and the industry to take any sensible measures justified by the degree of risk in areas of operation of their ships, to increase awareness of the potential dangers so that their ships become extremely vigilant and alert to any security threat they may encounter or be suspicious of, be they in port or at offshore terminals or while underway. While stressing the need for co-operation among all parties concerned, Mr. O’Neil advocated a sense of proportion in any action contemplated in the context of the Limburg incident.
IMO – the International
Maritime Organization – is the United Nations Specialized Agency with responsibility
for the safety of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.