Zeebrugge tragedy and aftermath
MEMBERS of the Institute, together with members of the Joint Branch, the Institute of Sea Transport and the Shipowners' Association, were treated to a very frank and illuminating presentation from Commodore Barren about the Zeebrugge tragedy and aftermath.
Tony Barrett is unique in the authority which he can bring to hear on the Herald case. He entered P&O as a sprog and remained with their seagoing staff until 1964 when he came ashore to a variety of management posts. Currently he is a Director of P&O European Ferries with special responsibilities for the audit and restructuring of their marine operations. He is chairman of the GCBS FerrySection, who he represents at appropriate IMO meetings.
He gave us a totally different aspect to the casualty to that normally appearing in countless newspapers and magazines. Broad details of the historical relationship between masters, shore technical staff and owners when the vessels were under the previous ownership did much to explain the potential for disaster that can be inherent in such a system. Tom presented some slides of the casualty itself during which the tragedy and the ensuing Marine Court became more tangible events owing to the personal touch with which he explained the pictures.
He fielded a substantial number of questions from the floor but the meeting had to he brought to a close owing to the late hour.
Contributed by Allan Pyrke, FNI
Seaways July 1988