Ireland needs to appoint a Secretary of State’s Representative to deal with any future maritime or shipping incidents similar to the beaching of the MV Alta, a maritime expert advises.
Captain Neil Forde, a maritime consultant with Marine Hazard Ltd, tells the Irish Examiner that the ‘ghost ship’ which ran around in Ballycotton at the weekend is proving to be an “insurmountable bureaucratic obstacle” to measures to deal with the cargo ship, which underwent an environmental assessment yesterday (Tuesday 18 February).
“We are going to have a major maritime incident at some point, it is just inevitable … The county council, who even with the best will and intention is only going to be able to deal with small incidents, has been pushed into dealing with this by the current legislation,” he said.
Another ‘ghost ship’, the MV Lyobov Orlova — its decks infested with ‘cannibal’ rats — could pose a biohazard threat to Ireland if it reached these shores.
A straightforward solution, Capt Forde suggests, is to appoint a single expert whose “job is to say to the different agencies ‘you are going to do this’, no ifs or buts about it, and to deal with the situation quickly”.
The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.