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August 29, 2013

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Bad weather, slowdown led to jump in sea accidents

Shanghai has reported 15 accidents on the sea this year and 16 cases of partial or total destruction of vessels in the first half of the year, leading to a loss of over 150 million yuan compared to last year.

According to a report released by the Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration yesterday, the increase in accidents was partly caused by adverse windy weather in the second quarter, as well as a drop in investment in safety measures by the shipping companies because of economic slowdown.

Some companies delayed replacing of out-of-date vessels and failed to upgrade their equipment due to financial crunch. Some of them took risks by slashing the number of crew members on the sea.

The maritime authorities said it will shorten the process and cut the fees for shipping applications to bail out the struggling companies.

“We will shorten the approval procedure and give them technical support. I hope the shipping companies don’t ignore safety risks because of financial reasons,” said Chen Xiaoguang, deputy chief of the administration.

Shanghai Maritime Search and Rescue Center rescued more than 2,000 people in 108 different incidents in the first six months. Four people died or were missing in maritime accidents.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Yangshan Deep-Water Port in Hangzhou Bay south of Shanghai will start two-way operation later this year that will boost the capacity of the port.

The port will also experiment with big containers taking off in foggy or other adverse conditions in the second half of the year to reduce the impact on its capacity caused by bad weather.

Shanghai is also building the nation’s first chemical spill response team on the sea.

The maritime authorities reported 70 cases of dangerous goods being concealed at the city’s ports in the first two quarters this year. 



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