Tankers, at least, should be prohibited from taking migrants on board

Two tankers recently took part in rescue operations related to the distressed boats crammed with migrants in the Med. Tanker aframax Bonita (IMO 9297541, dwt 108386, flag Greece) was involved in two rescue operation, and rescued in total, 537 migrants in waters off Libya. Tanker aframax Proteas (IMO 9305609, dwt 117055, flag Greece) rescued 221 migrants in waters off Libya.
No questions arise in media, no reaction from maritime organizations, as to the risks involved in such rescue operations. Any outsider on board of any vessel is an incident, if it’s a tanker, it’s an emergency, something to be investigated. Aframax tankers took on board hundreds of absolute strangers with unknown background, unclear intentions and possible behaviour, and nobody cares. If those do-gooders in Europe and in the UN are so concerned with humanism, why don’t they do an obvious thing – why don’t they finance one or two rescue vessels tasked with rescuing migrants in the Med? Proteas took on board 221 persons, surely some of them ill, some may be mentally unstable, some may be aggressive or terrorism-oriented, anything is possible. What if they hijack the vessel, and demand whatever they fancy to demand? What if somebody lights a cigarette on a cargo deck? Anything may happen when hundreds of unknown, desperate characters are locked on board of a cargo vessel.
Any cargo vessel should be prohibited from taking migrants on board in large quantities. Vessel may take part in rescue operation, but shouldn’t take them on board unless in critical situation. Tankers should be prohibited from taking migrants on board in the first place. Or else we’re facing a risk of a big disaster, including ecological.
Voytenko Mikhail
Sep 3

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