A chemically hazardous ship previously owned by Maersk, The North Sea Producer, has been caught illegally dumped at a controversial shipbreaking yard in Chittagong, Bangladesh, reported the Dhaka Tribune.
The vessel being sent to this particular yard breaks international law, especially as its handlers denied its exposure to hazardous material despite its recent long life as an offshore vessel for the offshore oil and gas industry to produce and process hydrocarbons for the storage of oil.
The industry has come under harsh criticism due to its unethical shipbreaking practices, especially Maersk who have admitted to encouraging the use of dangerous and environmentally damaging shipbreaking yards.
The NGO for shipbreakers has sent correspondence to the UK Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the European Union regarding the ship, which was sent to Bangladesh via a cash only third party company,
Annettee Stube, Head of Sustainability at Maersk, said: “The Company has not been good enough to ensure that the ship was sent to scrap to a secure yard. Maersk is really, really sorry that this has happened.”
An offshore oil vessel exploded eight times at the Gadani shipbreaking yard in Pakistan days after the announcement that Maersk had been deceitful in its use of them, the blasts and fire that followed killed 20 people and injured over 50.
Death by respiratory diseases and cancers are very common at these yards, with no ventilation or safety measures in place, and burns are also very common because many of the vessels have oil and other hazardous material on them which still do not come with any safety regulations.