Associations Welcome Prestige Captain Release

The Round Table of Maritime Associations has welcomed the release of Captain Mangouras, Master of the Prestige', after 85 days in custody in a high security Spanish prison. The Round Table condemns the detention of Captain Mangouras by the Spanish authorities prior to any formal enquiry or legal proceedings, and applauds him for his fortitude under the extreme conditions, which prevailed during the incident and his imprisonment. The Round Table, while welcoming the decision of the vessel's P&I Club, London Steamship, to meet the $3.2 million bail to obtain the release of Captain Mangouras, remains of the view that the figure demanded was totally unreasonable.

The Round Table is concerned that a precedent has been set for a yet more excessive demand in any such future incident. The Round Table also joins other commentators in decrying the criminalizing of masters and senior officers after a casualty, believing that this is not only indefensible in human terms, but also inhibits timely and efficient accident investigation.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 15,  Mar 2003 petroleum transportation

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