New rules introduced to increase maritime safety in Turkish straits
Turkish authorities have included eight rules to existing regulations to increase maritime safety in the Bosphorus and Çanakkale straits, one of the busiest and most challenging waterways of the world, Vatan newspaper reported on Sept. 3.
According to some of the new rules, units from the General Directorate of Coastal Safety will intervene when a vessel is grounded. Under the existing regulations, authorities wait for rescue plans from the captain of the grounded vessel and the captain is given a time between six to 48 hours.
New regulations also stipulate that units from the General Directorate of Coastal Safety will prepare a report in the event of grounding and carry out a rescue operation. The rescued vessel will not be allowed to sail again until an investigation is concluded and the rescue costs are paid.
The ships that will go through the straits will be required to inform the Istanbul and Çanakkale port authorities regarding the security and technical equipment on board as they approach the waterways by 3.2 kilometers.
Cruise ships and container ships longer than 300 meters will be required to notify local authorities 10 days before they enter the straits.
Also, vessels that carry liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and are longer than 150 meters will have to navigate through the straits only in daytime and they will be accompanied by a harbor pilot and a towboat.
Moreover, vessels will not be allowed to come near bridge piers by less than 100 meters.
Authorities have also introduced new rules for large vessels that will use the Çanakkale Strait over which a bridge – 1915 Çanakkale Bridge – is being built. The foundations of the towers of the bridge were laid in March this year. Large vessels, described as longer than 200 meters, will be required to navigate through the strait only during daytime.