Marine accidents are becoming commonplace. The collision of the high-speed passenger vessel the 'Segesta Jet' with a cargo ship outside the port of Messina, which claimed the lives of four passengers, the fact that the container ship the 'Napoli' was forced through cracking to run aground off the coast of Devon in the UK, and other marine accidents, attest to the serious structural defects, the makeshift maintenance and repairs to damage to ships, for which shipowners bear an enormous responsibility as they seek to maximise their profits. Moreover, the intensification of seafarers' work, the pressure exerted by shipowners, with the collusion of the public port authorities, to work 12-16 hour days with no leave for 4-12 months, in violation of seafarers' international labour conventions, is yet another cause giving rise to marine accidents. There is thus flagrant violation of international rules on safety of human life at sea and environmental protection in order to boost the profits of shipowners and corporate concerns operating in the maritime transport sector.
What is the Commission's view of the shipowners' responsibility and what measures will it take to protect human lives at sea?