The Cypriot government has ordered a Greek shipping company to strike the Cypriot flag flown by theirs ships because of their disastrous safety condition, the specialized Lloyd's List newspaper reported here Tuesday. The move effectively grounds six bulkers and four tankers belonging to the Sea Pioneer shipping group.
The decision to revoke safety management credentials for the ships follows South Africa's detention last July of the tanker Ritas, which authorities in Cape Town described as "a floating nightmare". The Cypriot government was forced to apologize to South Africa for the sorry state of the ship.
Lloyd's List said it was thought to be the first time a flag state resorts to such drastic action in the more than two years since the International Safety Management Code came into force.
The company's ships will be unable to sail after arriving at their next port. — (AFP, London)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)