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Are God's Representatives Exempt from Mar Pol Regulations?

Sometimes one witnesses something which one instinctively knows is not right.

The thoughtless and unnecessary discarding of waste into marine environment being one of these.

Today when many passenger ship operators clearly state that nothing must be disposed of over the side of vessels, to witness someone perform such an act is very annoying.

When the item concerned is a large cardboard box it is even more unacceptable.

How long would it take for a large cardboard box to degrade?

Personally I don't know.

However, it is likely to be significantly longer than the 2 to 4 weeks which the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) states that it would take for a  paper bus ticket to completely dissolve! [Click Here]

By now you are probably a little puzzled as to the nature of this article - however - please read on and all will be revealed.

Myself and one of the co-moderators of the Irish Sea Ships Yahoo Group were travelling on the Mersey Ferry ROYAL IRIS on Saturday July 25. We had boarded at Seacombe for the full round trip and were standing on the main deck, starboard side towards the stern of the vessel. 

On arrival at Liverpool a clergyman boarded the vessel carrying a large cardboard box.

It is not uncommon to see members of the clergy on board the ferry performing the act of committing ashes into the river.

However,  on this occasion, and well before the mourners had gathered at the stern he was seen  by my travelling companion to remove the contents of the box, and then throw the box over the stern.

This occurred whilst the vessel was still berthed at the Ravestein SKYLINE BARGE 15 at the Pier Head.

Whilst I didn't see the clergyman throw the box, I had certainly seen the box as he walked past me. It was one of those close topped carrying boxes with a handle.

When the clergyman's action was pointed out to me, I turned, and there was the box floating in the Mersey making it's way up stream towards the Canning River Entrance!

My travelling companion and myself were more than flabbergasted at what had taken place.

There are a number of waste receptacles provided on each of the Mersey Ferries and one wondered why, if he could not be bothered taking it away with him after performing the committal ceremonies, the reverend could not have tore it up and disposed of it properly or asked one of the crew  to dispose of it.

One really does not expect this sort of behaviour from a priest or any other community figure! Would you be happy seeing a police officer or local councillor do this? Of course you wouldn't!

Could you imagine the mess if each and every member of the population of the City of Liverpool threw just one card board box into the River Mersey? That would be over 400,000 boxes!

I hope no one reading this takes exception to my comments - but as Irish Sea Shipping has over the past 14 years or so reported on other examples of onboard misbehaviour in voyage reports etc, This incident should certainly not be overlooked.

If the clergyman concerned reads my comments - I say this - "Please Don't Do It Again! Even if the good gentleman upstairs isn't watching you when you are on board - Irish Sea Shipping or one of its many correspondents may well be and comment may well be posted here again and a formal complaint made!"

John Luxton

July 26, 2009


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