NBC Evening News for Thursday, Dec 30, 1976
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(Studio) Special report on oil spills. "Argo Merchant" was inspected 3 mos. ago by United States Coast Guard in New York Harbor, yet it went aground with out-of-date maps and broken gyrocompass.
REPORTER: John Chancellor
(NYC) "Olympic Bravery" ran aground off coast of France in September, 1976. Royal Air Force's failure to burn up oil off tanker in 1967 off English coast noted. "Argo Merchant" accident noted. Most all tankers are Liberian ones. Owner's reasons for registering in Monrovia, Liberia, cited. Further details noted. Only ships inspected. Captains and crews can't be inspected, while 8 out of 10 errors at sea are human ones. [Liberian inspector in New York, Captain Alistair CROMBY - says the sailors don't have opportunity for training he had, and there is need for more training.] Details of shipping and accidents noted. United States Coast Guard would rather improve sailors than control ships. [Coast Guard Rear Admiral William BENKERT - wants to upgrade merchant marines worldwide. Anticipates a convention's being held in 1978 to deal with this problem.] [EPA administration Russell TRAIN - wants tighter standards set on operating personnel, navigating equipment, etc. Tighter surveillance on ships by satellite and other technology should be used.] Electronic system used to control tankers explained.
REPORTER: Richard Hunt