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Written Answers. - Marine Safety.

Wednesday, 6 February 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 547 No. 4

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[1597]

 98. Mr. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan  asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources Information on Frank Fahey Zoom on Frank Fahey  the extent to which adequate safety at sea regulations are enforced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3919/02]

 99. Mr. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan  asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources Information on Frank Fahey Zoom on Frank Fahey  the number of breaches of safety at sea regulations reported in the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3920/02]

Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. Fahey): Information on Frank Fahey Zoom on Frank Fahey I propose to take Questions Nos. 98 and 99 together.

Under Irish and international law, all vessels trading into and out of Irish ports are required to carry the appropriate certification to demonstrate compliance with the requisite conventions and regulations applicable to ships of their size and type. All vessels are subject to surveys and inspections initially by their flag states and, in addition, they are liable to inspection every six months under the port state control system if they visit any of the countries party to that system. The application of port state control ensures that at any given time a large number of ships operating within the area covered by that system have undergone an inspection by a state party to the system in the previous six months. Serious breaches of international convention requirements may result in the detention of vessels.

All Irish registered passenger and cargo vessels are inspected at least annually by my Department's surveyors and, in accordance with the port state control system, are liable to inspections every six months at the ports of other states that are members of the system. There were 56 inspections carried out last year on Irish registered vessels under port state control. Of these, no vessels were detained for non-compliance with the requisite international marine safety conventions.

Last year my Department's surveyors inspected 281 non-Irish registered vessels that had not been inspected in the previous six months under port State control. Of these, 17 were detained for non-compliance with the requisite international marine safety conventions. The monitoring of ships, by regular inspections under port state control, is proving to be an effective measure in encouraging full compliance with international safety standards and the majority of vessels operating into and out of Irish ports are complying with international convention requirements.


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