Concordia could trigger review of safety at sea

IMO Secretary General Koji Sekimizu has urged a “rapid and full casualty investigation” in the wake of the Costa Concordia cruise liner incident and said safety regulations may have to be reviewed.

Speaking at the opening of an IMO sub-committee meeting, the Secretary-General said: “I would like to urge the Flag State administration to provide the findings [of the investigation] to the IMO under the provisions of SOLAS as soon as possible.”

The grounding of the vessel – which has claimed 17 lives so far with a further 15 unaccounted for – also prompted the IMO to postpone the launch of the World Maritime theme for 2012, which this year focuses on the centenary of the Titanic disaster.

“In the centenary year of the Titanic, we have once again been reminded of the risks involved in maritime activities,” the Secretary-General said.

He added: “We should seriously consider the lessons to be learnt and, if necessary, reexamine the regulations on the safety of large passenger ships.”

It is likely the Italian maritime authorities will present the preliminary results of its investigations to the IMO during the next Maritime Safety Committee meeting, scheduled for May 16-25.