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MSC Napoli

Volume 455: debated on Friday 26 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) who authorised the salvage operation for the MSC Napoli; and if he will make a statement; (111769)

(2) who directed the MSC Napoli away from Cherbourg and to a British port when her condition was first reported to coastguards.

In accordance with the Anglo-French Joint Maritime Contingency Plan (Mancheplan), the Secretary of State's representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP) and the French maritime authorities made an on-scene assessment of the condition of the MSC Napoli, and the French authorities assessed a number of possible locations for a place of refuge in French waters. The conclusion arising out of these assessments was that the least environmentally risky option was to tow the vessel to a place of refuge in UK waters. The south coast of England provided better options for a place of refuge than the French coast, where there were no suitable places of refuge within reasonable distance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will provide financial assistance for local authorities that incur costs as a consequence of the pollution caused by the beaching of the MSC Napoli. (111771)

The Department does not provide financial assistance for local authorities that incur costs as a consequence of pollution from ships. Local authorities and others who have incurred costs as a result of pollution from a ship-source pollution incident may seek to recover their costs by lodging a claim in court in accordance with the domestic law which applies in the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976 (LLMC).