IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu has expressed his condolences and sympathy for all those caught up in tragic accidents involving ships over the weekend.
Speaking at the opening of the IMO Sub-Committee on Stability, Load Lines and Fishing Vessel Safety today (16 January 2011) Mr Sekimizu said, “I wish to express my sincere condolences and sympathy on behalf of IMO to the families of those who have lost their lives the cruise ship Costa Concordia.”
“Further, I appreciate the Italian Coast Guard for their rescue operations over the night of the accident and the continued efforts deploying patrol boats, tugs, helicopters as well as diver teams, which have resulted in the highest number of people rescued in the history of the Italian Coast Guard.”
“Causes of this accident are still not yet established. We must wait for the casualty investigation and should not pre-judge or speculate at this stage. I would like to urge the Flag State administration to carry out the casualty investigation covering all aspects of this accident and provide the findings to the IMO under the provisions of SOLAS as soon as possible,” he said.
He added “IMO must not take this accident lightly. We should seriously consider the lessons to be learnt and, if necessary, re-examine the regulations on the safety of large passenger ships in the light of the findings of the casualty investigation.”
“In the centenary year of the Titanic, we have once again been reminded of the risks involved in maritime activities.”