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Web Alert: UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) signs International Group Large Casualty MoU

04 April 2017

The UK is the latest state to sign the International Group large casualty Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the response to major maritime casualties and incidents. The MoU is a key element of the International Group Outreach programme and was developed following the review undertaken in 2012 (and updated in 2016) of major maritime casualties involving removal of wreck operations. The aim of the MoU is to promote and streamline cooperation between the Group clubs and maritime authorities to facilitate expeditious and effective response to major maritime casualties and incidents, particularly those involving actual or potential removal of wreck operations and environmental damage, or the threat thereof. The MoU is not a legally binding document, and does not override existing international, regional or national arrangements for the handling of maritime casualties. Nor does it override applicable law or statutory rights, duties and obligations. Rather, it is designed to provide a collaborative framework for prompt and efficient handling of casualties. It also provides for joint participation in education and training exercises. South Africa, Australia and New Zealand have already entered into similar MoUs with the International Group, and approaches have been made to and discussions are ongoing with a number of other states.