Near Miss Highlights Need for Better Regulation

A Flag-of-Convenience container ship had a narrowly missed running aground when it veered off course and almost collided with rocks and reefs off the coast of Coffs Harbour. 

International Transport Workers Federation national coordinator Dean Summers said this near miss was the latest in a string of recent incidents incidents involving FOC shipping.

"On April 14 a 53,000 ton container ship almost ran a ground off Coffs Harbour," Summers said.

"The Greek-owned, Liberian-registered ship, crewed with Ukrainian and Russian seafarers came very close to hitting the coast after being 24 kilometres off course on her way up the Australian coast.

"This is the standard of foreign shipping that's encouraged to come onto the Australian coast and replace our domestic fleet," he said in releasing details on the incident. 

"The net result for Australia is a near miss with the potential for hundreds of millions of dollars damage."