An international maritime expert has said that the difficulties encountered when the MV Ever Given became stuck in the Suez Canal should have been foreseen.
Michael Kingston, originally from Goleen, Co Cork, told RTÉ News that he and a number of other experts worked on a report for Lloyd's of London in 2013, which talked about the implications of just such a scenario.
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That 2013 report titled 'The Challenges and Implications of Removing Wreck in the 21st century' was commissioned in the wake of the sinking of the Costa Concordia cruise liner, which ran aground off the Italian coast in 2012.
Mr Kingston said two of the key findings of that report were that the location of the world’s salvage equipment was inadequate and that there was a massive capability gap between the equipment available and the size of ships.
At the time, he said, they recommended something be done about that and they lobbied for equipment to be put in place and readily available, but that still has not happened.
Mr Kingston urged that lessons are now learned from the situation which developed in the Suez Canal in the last week, a situation which will have an impact for months to come as global supply chains struggle to catch up with delays caused by the blockage in the canal.
As maritime vessels get bigger and bigger, Mr Kingston said the equipment needed for rescue or salvage does not exist in a readily available manner around the world.
He said that in 2013 he and his colleagues suggested a 10c levy be put on each container to build a fund to have salvage equipment in place, something that he said should still be done.