During an ICS Board meeting held Tuesday in London, members of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) expressed their frustrations with Italy for failing to provide a final casualty report into the Costa Concordia tragedy, now over one year after the ship ran aground and partially sank.
In a statement, the ICS Board welcomed measures taken by the International Maritime Organization to enhance cruise ship safety since the incident, but slammed Italy for failing to provide its final casualty report.
“The response of IMO so far has been measured and reasonable and we have been impressed by the commitment amongst governments to avoid knee jerk reactions” said CS Chairman, Masamichi Morooka. “But IMO is under increasing pressure to take forward far more radical steps in advance of Italy publishing the complete results of its accident investigation, which it has still singularly failed to do. Given the seriousness of the disaster, which happened over a year ago, this failure by Italy is simply unacceptable. We still have no official understanding of what the underlying causes were with respect to an accident that really should never have happened.”
ICS says that it believes that the Costa Concordia tragedy has highlighted the seemingly inadequate obligations on the part of flag states to submit the results of accident investigations to IMO. ICS adds that the impasse created by the failure of Italy to report definitively on such a serious casualty indicates that action may be needed in an area where other flag states are also commonly guilty with respect to less high profile incidents which are nevertheless serious and from which important safety lessons could be learned.
During the meeting, the ICS Board agreed that, in discussion with governments, ICS will take forward proposals to IMO as to how the obligations of flag states with respect to casualty reports might be strengthened.