The Shipping Industry Reacts to Catastrophic Events by Exploring Safe Havens
Catastrophic events in the shipping industry can cause significant damage to the environment, human health, and economic losses. Following the breaking of the MV Erika in December 1999, the notion of Safe Havens was explored as a way to provide refuge for vessels in distress. Safe Havens are ports or areas designated for vessels that are in danger of being lost at sea or are suffering from mechanical or navigational failure. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set guidelines for the use of Safe Havens in order to protect the safety of vessels and their crew and the environment. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) states that “the master of a ship in distress should, if possible, be given the opportunity to take the ship, with its personnel and cargo, to a place of safety where the ship can be provided with the necessary assistance”. This is in line with the general obligations of the IMO to ensure the safety of human life at sea and protect the marine environment (The International Maritime Organization, 2021). Cont…
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