The modernization of the institutional framework for tugs’ and salvage vessels’ specifications is of strategic importance for the country
Investments over 120 million EUR by members of the Hellenic Shipowners’ Association of Tugs, Salvage, Antipollution and OSVs
The Hellenic Shipowners’ Association of Tugs, Salvage, Antipollution and OSVs, in an online press conference held today, highlighted the strategic importance of modernizing the institutional framework for tugs’ and salvage vessels’ specifications for the country. At the same time, investments of over 120 million euros were announced by the Association’s members – companies, with the acquisition of 35 new vessels of modern technology complying with international standardsand confirming their development intention.
The Association’s President, Mr. Pavlos Xiradakis noted that the Presidential Decree recently announced by the State regarding the specifications of tugs is of strategic importance and significant not only for the industry and healthy competition, but also because: 1) it is a safety and security issue. Safety and security in our ports safeguard their uninterrupted commercial and tourist operation, 2) ensures the safety of the Greek seas and the prevention of accidents and, finally, 3) it is a competitiveness issue. The provision of modern maritime services upgrades the country’s international image both as a tourist destination and as a logistics hub.
In this context, the last 2 years the Association is in continuous and systematic cooperation with the political leadership of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy for the adoption of new modern specifications and requirements for tugs. They have submitted a detailed plan and concrete proposals for specifications based on international standards and studies. Especially regarding the specifications of the tugs, the Association has already launched a special study in cooperation with the National Technical University of Athens, which they have submitted to the Ministry in order to assist in this effort.
Simultaneously, reference was made to the additional proposals submitted by the Association regarding the consultation on the Presidential Decree, for the enhancement of the new framework, which concern the following points:
- The tugs’ firefighting means which are involved in tanker and oil facility security services must comply with the international standards (FiFi 1, 2 & 3).
- The tugs’ firefighting means should be included in the mandatory and not in the recommended provisions of the PD
- Corrections of formulas for calculating the required bollard pull of ships.
- Use of modern tugs (double-propeller or helipads) in large and busy ports.
What is more, emphasis was given to the urgent need for the legislation of salvage vessels’ new technical specifications, now more than ever that Turkey is growing rapidly in this area. Under these specifications the salvage vessels will meet the modern needs of the country’s territorial waters, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Search & Rescue (SAR). Towards this end, the Association is in cooperation with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy and has already launched a special study in cooperation with the National Technical University of Athens for the technical specifications of salvage vessels, which will be submitted to the Ministry.
“From the Greek seas are passing thousands of ships of vast dimensions. Given this increased movement of larger ships, the contribution of the tugs in the departure and arrival of these sea giants is crucial. In the twenty-year period 2000–2020 there were a total of 243 strandings in the Aegean and the Ionian Sea. They were marine incidents that led to shipwrecks, more or less known, such as the Sea Diamond in Santorini, the Express Samina off Paros, the Cabrera north of Andros, the Agia Zoni in the Saronic Gulf, etc., which had tragic consequences for human life, pollution of the sea and coastal area, but also enormous economic cost regarding the amount of the compensations, local tourism and fishing activities. Today many of these shipwrecks remain at the bottom of the Greek seas, continuing to be an environmental and economic threat. It is high time that the urgent need for the legislation of the new technical specifications to be covered both for tugs and salvage vessels, in order to meet the modern needs of the country’s territorial waters, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Search & Rescue (SAR)”, the President underlined.
“Today more than ever, we need a new modern institutional framework for high-level services in the sectors of towage, salvage, shipwreck removal and protection of the marine environment, equivalent to the level of the world’s leading Greek shipping industry. Investments of over 120 million euros were announced by the Association’s members – companies, which will play a strategic role and will upgrade the country’s international image both as a tourist destination and as a logistics hub”, Mr. Xiradakis mentioned.
The Hellenic Shipowners’ Association of Tugs, Salvage, Antipollution and OSVs was founded in 1980 and, since its establishment, it is steadily developing and has become the most prominent and reliable representative of Greek owners of tugs, salvage, antipollution and OSVs. The mission of the Association is the preservation, promotion, protection and development of any kind of the members’ interests in a context of healthy competition. The Association has been following all the international developments, mainly, through its participation in the European Tugowners Association (ETA) and the International Salvage Union (ISC).
The main objective of the Association’s members is to provide services for the protection of human life, the marine environment, ships and facilities. Simultaneously, the members are active at a global level and have extensive and high level of know-how, due to their participation in a variety of projects both in the national and international level. The Association’s members offer their services to more than 8,000 ships annually.