Shipbreaking or Skulduggery?

R651400
31st December 2005, 13:20
The French after a long legal process have released the aircraft-carrier Clemenceau to be broken up at Alang.
Yesterday evening, French tv showed the appalling conditions of the Alang labour-force, one of the main reasons for legal intervention by pressure groups eg Green Peace.
Following is from local press.
Clemenceau built 1954, disarmed and laid up Toulon 1997.

2003
16 June, sold to Spanish shipbreaker in Gijon.
13 October, Sailed for unknown Spanish destination ostensibly for asbestos removal.
17 October, Changed course and sailed for Turkey.
23 October, French cancelled Spanish contract and halted the ship.
31 October, Greece refused Clemencau access to Greek waters.
15 November, Clemencau returns to Toulon.

2004
22 November, Partial asbestos removal commences in Toulon, with remainder to be completed at Alang.

2005
9 February, Pressure groups insist total asbestos removal in Toulon.
30 December. Under terms of original contract, Clemencau cleared for Alang where remainder of asbestos will be removed, and Clemencau broken up.

In all the ships that have passed through Alang, possibly this is the first time the issue of asbestos removal has come to light.
Without proper anti-asbestos protection, the life expectancy of an Alang labourer, if he/she is lucky, will be a further ten years.

benjidog
31st December 2005, 16:44
(MAD) This is truly shameful.

And the saddest part is that the poor sods that take the thing apart will get a pittance for doing it and some middle man will make a packet out of other people's misery.

There should be international controls over how ships are broken up and they should be policed.

bobby388
31st December 2005, 17:13
this is in another post cant mind where its appalling conditions in ALANG are 1 a day dies i think they get £2 a day g/peace are involved there is a canadian docu on it(shipbreakers)i remember now it was Derek rodgers post somewhere cheers (Bobby)

bobby388
31st December 2005, 17:33
this is in another post cant mind where its appalling conditions in ALANG are 1 a day dies i think they get £2 a day g/peace are involved there is a canadian docu on it(shipbreakers)i remember now it was Derek rodgers post somewhere cheers (Bobby)
"SORRY" it was EDWARDS post

John Feltham
6th January 2006, 20:17
There are also many ex-Royal Dockyard shipwrights, laggers, painters, engine and electrical fitters, etc. in Britain suffering from exposure to asbestos due to working on warships and auxiliaries. A couple of my colleagues have sadly died recently from this exposure. Today, by chance, I spoke to two other ex-dockyard workers and it turned out that all three of us have thickening of the plura! We are the lucky ones, so far, and may survive to a reasonable age without it developing into full blown cancer. The simple truth is that no one in authority wants to be responsible for the removal of asbestos because of the cost involved! I assume that they think if a contaminated ship is left long enough, people will forget about the contamination and the vessel can be passed without notice onto a third world country with its lethal cargo. In these countries the labour force have no unions to fight for proper equipment, etc. and poverty is such that they will do anything to earn a crust of bread. It certainly is a disgrace!

jbryce
6th January 2006, 20:24
The health issues involve the whole ship building and ship repair industry. I remember being on one ship in refit in the 1960's at Devonport and the dockyard mateys were rigged in overalls and respirators while we were working nearby without any protection at all.

John Feltham
6th January 2006, 20:32
Hi jbryce,
Yes, I can remember arriving home and having to shake out my clothing because the asbestos lagging had penetrated even into my underwear. Fortunately, these nether regions have not been effected!
John

SHANE
10th January 2006, 20:25
does anyone know were the ocl big ships went for scrap ? liverpool bay class.

R651400
13th January 2006, 12:01
Egyptian authorities apparently under pressure from Green Peace have blocked Clemencaue from passing through Suez.

Thamesphil
13th January 2006, 14:05
This mass hysteria surrounding the Clemenceau is groundless. Firstly, importing a vessel for recycling is not importing waste, therefore Basel convention rules do not apply. It's simply supply and demand. The Indian Sub continent needs a cheap supply of steel, and scrap metal from redundant ships is one of the most cost effective ways of obtaining this. Alang shipbeakers - and consequently the people employed by them - have just faced their worst year in history with the industry running at about 20% capacity. A ship of the Clemenceau's size will therefore be a welcome relief for all concerned.

Secondly, despite what the likes of Greenpeace, etc state, India has the means to scrap ships safely and responsibly and to deal appropriately with hazardous materials. Infrastructure at Alang has improved considerably and the Gujarat Maritime Board has invested substantially in conducting safe ship recycling training programmes.

The problem is that the voices of ill-informed environmentalists are heard louder than those who really know the industry and these kind of knee-jerk reactions are as predictable as they are frustrating.

Phil

ruud
13th January 2006, 14:49
Egyptian authorities apparently under pressure from Green Peace have blocked Clemencaue from passing through Suez.Ahoy Malcolm,
Do you really think that Greenpeace can put the Egyptians authorities under pressure?No I don't think so; I think it's still an old wound that Greenpeace has with the Frenchies and has never healed, and if they can they will work against them.

Egypt bans French ship from Suez over waste leak

CAIRO - Egypt on Thursday banned a French aircraft carrier from crossing the Suez Canal on its way to India on the grounds that the vessel was leaking toxic waste, a Suez Canal Authority official told Reuters.
The French Defence Ministry said there was no leak coming from the ship and that the Egyptian authorities had not informed them it would be stopped from crossing the international waterway on its way to an Indian shipyard.
"Egypt decided to prevent the French ship from entering the Suez Canal," an official from the Suez Canal Authority said.
A panel appointed by India's Supreme Court has recommended that the vessel not be allowed to enter India because of worries about toxic waste.
"Egypt decided to prevent the French aircraft carrier from nearing Egyptian regional waters because of the presence of a poisonous leak," added the Egyptian official, who did not want to be named.
The official said the authority took the decision after Egypt's environmental agency said the leak from the ship could cause harm to the canal's environment and the Egyptian coastline.
Environmental group Greenpeace has urged Paris and New Delhi not to allow the decommissioned Clemenceau to reach the scrapyard in the western state of Gujarat without first being 98 percent decontaminated in France.
Greenpeace says the 27,000-tonne ship is fitted with hundreds of tonnes of hazardous materials, including 500 tonnes of asbestos, which could pose a severe risk to scrapyard workers.
The environmental group says thousands of workers in the ship-breaking industry in Asian countries have died in the last two decades in accidents or through exposure to toxic waste.
"There is no poisonous leak on the Clemenceau, I can assure you of that," said an official at the French Defence Ministry, adding that Egyptian authorities had asked for technical information that the ministry was preparing.
French authorities have said the most dangerous work of removing 115 tonnes of brittle asbestos has been done in France and the remaining amount has to be kept in place to keep the ship seaworthy on its last journey to India.

Source:Reuters

R651400
13th January 2006, 15:55
Ahoy Malcolm,
Do you really think that Greenpeace can put the Egyptians authorities under pressure?
Ahoy Ruud,
My source indicates Egyptian environment agency director Mohamed Sayyed Kahlil met with Green Peace in Cairo on Thursday.
One would assume the decision on Clemencau was taken from this meeting.

R651400
13th January 2006, 16:31
Firstly, importing a vessel for recycling is not importing waste, therefore Basel convention rules do not apply.


Importing a contaminated ship containing toxic waste for eventual scrap, not only contravenes the Basel convention but also Indian law.

Thamesphil
13th January 2006, 17:08
Importing a contaminated ship containing toxic waste for eventual scrap, not only contravenes the Basel convention but also Indian law.

If that truly is the case, there would be no ship recycling in India. So why hasn't the entire Alang shipbreaking industry closed down, wrecking the livliehoods of the thousands of people involved with it? The fact is that a ship is not waste, it is not imported for scrap, it is imported for the vital raw materials that Indian industry needs to survive.

Phil

R651400
13th January 2006, 18:13
So why hasn't the entire Alang shipbreaking industry closed down?
Simply? The onus is on the seller not the purchaser to ensure the vessel is decontaminated before arrival in India.
Isn't that what the Basel convention is all about?
Green Peace, possibly prone to exaggeration, quote as many as 350 fatalities a year. Other more conservative sources 40 or 50.
Whichever way you look at it, this doesn't stop the Alang, or wherever, labourer from being blown to bits or poisoned by toxic waste or fumes.
Your putting shipbreaking central to the Indian economy, I wonder how Jamshedpur managed all those years before Alang?

edward
13th January 2006, 20:46
as my last post on this subject regarding asbestos i think it should be removed by a responsible body that has all the health and safety regulations in place and not to gamble on 3rd world labour being exposed to the aspestos just for profit this is a thouchy subject but has to be delt with caution. regards. edward

william dillon
13th January 2006, 20:51
This mass hysteria surrounding the Clemenceau is groundless. Firstly, importing a vessel for recycling is not importing waste, therefore Basel convention rules do not apply. It's simply supply and demand. The Indian Sub continent needs a cheap supply of steel, and scrap metal from redundant ships is one of the most cost effective ways of obtaining this. Alang shipbeakers - and consequently the people employed by them - have just faced their worst year in history with the industry running at about 20% capacity. A ship of the Clemenceau's size will therefore be a welcome relief for all concerned.

Secondly, despite what the likes of Greenpeace, etc state, India has the means to scrap ships safely and responsibly and to deal appropriately with hazardous materials. Infrastructure at Alang has improved considerably and the Gujarat Maritime Board has invested substantially in conducting safe ship recycling training programmes.

The problem is that the voices of ill-informed environmentalists are heard louder than those who really know the industry and these kind of knee-jerk reactions are as predictable as they are frustrating.

Phil

Hi Phil,
Welcome back from "Pluto" did you have a nice holiday, get real, would you like your kids to work in these places, I don't think so.

Thamesphil
15th January 2006, 21:06
Hi Phil,
Welcome back from "Pluto" did you have a nice holiday, get real, would you like your kids to work in these places, I don't think so.

Billy,

I assume that you know so much about the shipbreaking industry that you would like to make a well informed comment. So where is it?

Phil

Thamesphil
15th January 2006, 21:15
.
Your putting shipbreaking central to the Indian economy, I wonder how Jamshedpur managed all those years before Alang?

No, not central to the economy. But the indian government would be left with a lot of egg on its face if it were to allow shipbreaking to disappear. If workers are dismantling ships safely and responsibly, why should their livliehoods be put at risk?

Phil

R651400
16th January 2006, 06:38
Well Phil, You'll be pleased to hear Clemencau has been given clearance to pass the Suez Canal.
I appreciate your concern in terms of employment for the Indian masses but let's be fair. Alang and other Indian ship breakers are not exactly world-leaders in work safety standards.
Rags for helmets, flip-flops (thongs in oz-speak) or even bare feet and no protective gloves to handle enormous raw cut, razor sharp sheets of steel?
Result, horrific accidents on a daily basis that never reach statistic level.
nb I haven't even touched on poisoning from toxic waste.
You say they have cleaned up their act?
Let's just see what ss Norway is up to.
A local theory, she will be re-registered to a country that is a non Basel signatory, then be broken up at Alang, asbestos et al.

R651400
16th January 2006, 06:48
A little adjoinder to above.
The excuse given for only partial removal of asbestos from Clemenceau was to enable the vessel to operate on it's last voyage to the knackers.
Assuming by that, they meant she would travel under her own steam.
What the decision has to do with being towed there, is another question.
Perhaps to run the entire electrical system for the skeleton crew and Greenpeace passengers to make coffee?

Thamesphil
16th January 2006, 11:37
Sadly, yes, accidents do still occur at Alang, but they have really cleaned up their act. But let's get real here. Much of it is highly exaggerated, all this mass media attention is whipped up by those with a left-wing anti-capitalist political agenda. If you think that's a good thing, fine. But don't forget that the same people have their knives out for the entire shipping industry too.

Phil

R651400
16th January 2006, 13:49
Much of it is highly exaggerated, all this mass media attention is whipped up by those with a left-wing anti-capitalist political agenda.
Phil
I think it is too easy to generalise. In other topical threads I have hammered away at poor UK management.
As far as India is concerned I think there is a penchant for national exploitation possibly stemming all the way back to the caste system, who knows.
This shouldn't detract from their ever-willingness to work and earn a crust at all costs.
Malcolm

lakercapt
16th January 2006, 14:56
There was a documentary on TV recently about thge shipbreaking in India and when the cameras were there it would appear that there were safety precautions in place. Later a camera was smuggled in and there was differant prospective.
Alas this film was because there were a few old Great Lake freighters going out there to be broken up. The shipowers pronounced that they were coforming to all the rules and regulations about hazardus materials. However what they did not mention at the time was they were reflagged to some obscure country and were no longer covered by Canadian law. The company , a well known Lakes company called Upper Lakes Shipping.

Thamesphil
16th January 2006, 16:32
Like it or not, the shipowner is probably right to claim that they did nothing wrong. it is a long-standing tradition that Indian Sub continent breakers will not deal directly with owners. Ships are sold through unrelated cash intermediaries for onward resale to the breakers. It is these companies that have ultimate responsibility for the safe and proper arrival of the ship and for renaming and reflagging ships to 'obscure countries' There have also been cases where ships have been sold several times through various cash buyers whilst en-route to Alang. Whatever the rights and wrongs, this is why any legal and regulatory processes become extremely complex and difficult.

ruud
16th January 2006, 18:02
Ahoy,

Like it or not, the "FROG'S" have found a solution, as they warned the Egyptians, the vessel is still an official Navy vessel under the laws of the French Gouvernement, and ordered to let the vessel through the Suez canal, and so she does."Bloody B******s"

Here the latest:

Environment Ministry: French carrier poses no threat to Egypt's environment


The Ministry of Environment said on Sunday that the French carrier Clemenceau does not pose environmental threats to Egypt and was allowed to transit the Suez Canal.

The carrier, which is owned by the French Defense Ministry, arrived Sunday at Port Said harbor and is expected to transit the Suez Canal later. The ship was 15 kilometers away from Egypt's territorial waters.
Source:©Egypt State Information Service 2005

william dillon
16th January 2006, 19:15
Billy,

I assume that you know so much about the shipbreaking industry that you would like to make a well informed comment. So where is it?

Phil
I have never been to Alang, God forbid that I ever have to go there, I did not say that I knew so much about the shipbreaking industry, I merely asked if you would like your kids to work there, I could have been wrong with the holiday destination, was it Saturn???

ruud
15th February 2006, 16:03
Ahoy,

The French president has ordered the Clemenceau back to France.

In French:
http://www.afp.com/francais/news/stories/060215155550.rpckxlza.html

In English:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2041879,00.html

edward
15th February 2006, 20:21
i would like to know for sure if the asbestos is recyled or disposed of in a safe and enviromental way that is in line with EEC ledgislation even if disposed of in third world countries, the governments should be held acountable after all people have a right to work in a safe enviroment what ever country they work in. regards edward.

John Feltham
3rd March 2006, 22:08
For those who are interested in Green Peace's concerns regarding quite a number of vessels due for the breakers in the near future, including HMS Intrepid and HMS Fearless currently in Portsmouth Harbour, have a look at http://www.greenpeaceweb.org/shipbreak/50-ships.asp
As one of the many hundreds of ex-shipworkers suffering from the effects of asbestos contamination, my concern for all who still come into contact with this unforgiving mineral is very real!
John

J Boyde
4th March 2006, 08:08
I must wonder how much asbestos has been removed, then new asbestos has been applied iver the life of a ship. I know one when a reasonable amount was removed then new asbestos was applied. It is not just scrap ships that have asbestos. I have also seen asbestos removed in what proved to be a very expensive job. At the end of the job no one had been put at risk. Allright, it costs but its removal can be done safely.
Jim B (Applause)

Peggy747
4th March 2006, 10:35
As usual I have come in late on this ASBESTOS matter, having read through the whole thread, I am quite shocked at some of the views expressed by people who I thought might be sympathetic to the plight of workers in the countries mentioned, slave labour abounds in these places and their employers get fat out of these poor people, those that choose to sit in ivory towers and say that all this is caused by groups with an "Agenda", might think different if they or someone close to them had ASBESTOSIS.
Isnt this a typical case of "Im alright Jack-I'm inboard" ?

There But For The Grace Of God Go I.

Peter

Mark Taxis
4th March 2006, 13:54
Hi all
What annoys me about the ship scrapping industry are the big shipping companies like P&O who constantly harp on how enviromentally aware they are, and, then having reaped a good profit from a vessel send it to places like Alang with no thought about the pollution or the damage that their vessel is doing to the people or the enviroment
Mark

Thamesphil
6th March 2006, 14:54
All those who think that Greenpeace is doing a grand job and are concerned about the plight of workers at Alang should maybe read the following news snippet:

"Shipyard workers who face losing their jobs will petition the Paris and New Delhi governments in an effort to ensure a
toxic French warship is broken up in an Indian yard, campaign organisers said yesterday.
A coalition of workers and politicians has called a public meeting today at the Alang shipyard in Gujarat, where the
Clemenceau was due to be dismantled by up to 400 workers, a leader of the Shiv Sena party said.
Letters would be sent to the French and Indian governments calling for the decision to be reversed, organisers said,
adding they also planned to burn effigies of critics of the industry’s working practices in Alang who they blamed for
scuppering the deal.
"We will issue letters to the prime minister and the French government to tell them they have taken the wrong
decision and with a one-week ultimatum to change their minds or there will be a hunger strike (of workers)," Shiv
Sena organiser Kishore Bhatt said."


Phil

Mark Taxis
7th March 2006, 14:38
The point is that all the shipping companies can remove the toxic waste prior to disposal. It is just that this will cost them, and in all reality all they want to do is get rid of an item which is becoming a liability.

Thamesphil
7th March 2006, 15:25
The point is that all the shipping companies can remove the toxic waste prior to disposal.......


Yes, but where and by whom? Look at the fuss created by the arrival of the so-called ghost ships at Hartlepool a few years ago and also the current debacle over the SS Rotterdam at Gdansk. In both cases, work was to be undertaken in controlled conditions in western shipyards, but still the environmentalists had the knives out and with mis-information, half-truths and downright lies, create hysteria amongst the masses thus attracting new members and gaining political influence. The point is that no matter how this waste is removed, green groups will object. They are too preoccupied with demonising shipowners and other moneymakers, instead of promoting capitalism to provide the money needed to make the world a better place...........including the Alang beaches!

Phil

Mark Taxis
9th March 2006, 02:06
there are no decontamination centres (as far as I know) this is because there has been no need for them as the whole lot was shipped out to third world countries.
Perhaps some of the old shipyards in europe can be converted to strip out and clean old ships before they are sent to the scrap yard

R651400
16th May 2006, 08:20
French news last night, announced Clemencau is now off Brest after a E12,000,000 disaster voyage, paid for by the French tax-payer.

rushie
16th May 2006, 08:50
Ah well....the people of Alang won't have to wait much longer for a big job to come along. The Norway (France in disguise for the Frog-bashers) is on her way to Alang, complete with 900 tons of toxic material aboard after the Indian Gov blocked a court ruling (yesterday) proposed by Greenpeace to ban her from Indian waters. She had already been refused by Bangladesh. Greed before their own people. This of course will also open the door for the Clemencau to be next for the beach, with a nice wedge of Euros from the Paris Taliban.

I'm sure the Indian Gov will do their utmost to ensure their workforce are protected from the toxic waste aboard and issue them with a pair of rubber gloves and a box of plasters.

Whatever your views Phil, or anyone else, type in Alang on a search engine and look beyond the photos of sad ships and see what conditions they have to work in.

I don't have a lot of time for swivel-eyed Guardian reading lefties who wear open sandals and white socks, but I do believe that the environmentalists may have got it right this time.

Rushie

R651400
16th May 2006, 10:05
This of course will also open the door for the Clemencau to be next for the beach, with a nice wedge of Euros from the Paris Taliban.


I doubt the French tax payer will be taken for another ride...

rushie
16th May 2006, 11:20
You mean the EU taxpayer surely...?!

The French will get it back somehow....they always do.

Rushie

David Wilcockson
16th May 2006, 21:44
There goes the UK`s rebate.
David

R651400
17th May 2006, 07:40
I don't intend to get drawn in by franco-phobic slavering.
The reality is Clemencau at Brest is a result for common sense and a benchmark for the future purchase of contaminated vessels fraudulently intended for 3rd world breakers.
Rumour has it Clem will be decontaminated and broken up in France.
At least it is a lot better than the demise of RFA Olwen and Olna sold to Eckhardt Marine by MOD in 2000...
quote from Greenpeace archive -
Eckhardt Marine bought two military ships (two fleet tankers built in 1965) from the UK at the end of 2000. The Olwen and Olna (200x25m)- sold under the tender number 2908- were known to contain enormous amounts of brown and white asbestos. On 2 March 2001 the vessels left Portsmouth for Turkey but Turkey refused the ships entry because of the asbestos. The ships were laid up for a while in Greece under the false assumption they would be decontaminated. At the end they left Greece through the Suez canal for India for dismantling without being decontaminated at all. The company fraudulently exported the two military hazardous waste end of life ships under the official veil of being decontaminated in Greece. unquote

dom
17th May 2006, 08:35
meanwhile two aircraft carriers 1 oriskany to be sunk in the gulf of mexico as a reef, 2 the russian aircraft minskto be sunk off hong kong?,any news on the decontamination of these two vessels?

mickrick
17th May 2006, 18:20
If you want a bit of background on conditions at Alang, William Langewiesche's "The Outlaw Sea" devotes about a third of the book to trashing the place. He definitely has an axe to grind, but it is still interesting.
Mike