Unlikely humanitarians – shippers returning to Libya face a tough moral dilemma

26 Jul 2017   Libya

A surge in Libyan oil exports — production has increased sharply in the past few months, jumping to four-year highs of over 1 million b/d this month — is seeing more and more oil tankers travel to and from the North African country’s key oil terminals, increasing tanker activity and pushing up freight rates in the Mediterranean. So far, so good for shipowners. But as more tankers call at Libyan ports, something which they were happy to avoid altogether less than a year ago, they can find themselves being drawn into the role of unlikely — and possibly begrudging — humanitarians. Increasingly they are receiving calls to assist unseaworthy vessels carrying migrants heading for Europe, shipping sources say. Under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) — which was first introduced after the sinking of the Titanic — all vessels have a legal obligation to […]

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