Photo: Torgeir Are Sortehaug
A separate environmental risk analysis for cruise ship traffic must now be in place, says Jan-Hugo Holten, who is responsible for maritime affairs and oil protection at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The association has today in a letter to the Norwegian Maritime Directorate demanded a sailing ban for MS Viking Sky until all loose items that could pose a threat have been fixed. Furthermore, NMF has made the following demands to the Directorate and the Coastal Administration's emergency department:
- that the Norwegian Maritime Directorate starts an immediate review of all cruise ships that will be sailing in Norwegian waters this season regarding the same problem with loose objects.
- exclusive environmental risk analysis for cruise ships
- escort of the most exposed ships in dirty waters this season
- review of crew and ships in relation to knowledge/suitability of sailing in Norwegian waters
The cruise industry is an industry that has gone under the radar with the advice of the Norwegian authorities for a number of years. Despite several reports from NMF about the conditions these eventually giant ships create in terms of preparedness in relation to people and the environment, there has been little response from the Norwegian Coastal Administration and the Norwegian Maritime Directorate.
In a letter to the Norwegian Maritime Directorate in January 2012 from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency it was said, among other things;
The Norwegian Environmental Protection Association demands that Norway, via its delegation in the IMO, work to ensure that the design on which the large cruise ships are built today must be reviewed and changed, as there is a major safety hazard associated with building ships that do not sink but tip over on their side as the lifeboats on both sides become unavailable to the passengers with the potential loss of all the passengers, up to 5,000 human lives could be lost.
Whale-shaped cruise ship giants cannot sink but tip over on their side due to a too high center of gravity and incorrectly designed hulls where the ships are round/flat at the bottom of the hull.
It is part of history that the directorate took 6 years to respond to the letter from NMF.