Learning from Maritime Accidents of the Past

Now that the year is almost over it is time for reflection not just as individuals but as an industry. A new opportunity to be seized and steps forward to be taken. As we know the past does not determine the future, but we can still learn things from it that we can use to improve our present course.
It has been a hard year for the maritime industry. The shipping market has been down for most cargos and it seems as if there have been more accidents – though maybe they just aren’t as under-reported as they once were.
The collision between the Conti Peridot and the Carla Maersk in the Houston Ship Channel, resulting in a spill and damage to the vessels – the investigation is still not concluded.
have still more deaths caused by maritime accidents worldwide this year.
I would like to see in this coming year that we have no deaths due to enclosed space entry – all of the crews have been warned about enclosed space entry, they even are trained in entry procedure and yet every year there are more deaths from enclosed space entry reported.
Take some time if you have it to read through the reports that I’ve linked to, spread the word about where reports can be found. Only through sharing knowledge and examples can we stop senseless deaths caused by inattention and lack of adherence to procedures.
An example of the lack of care for personal safety that resulted in a death a year ago on December 30th, 2014.
Was in the Grounding and Subsequent Breakup of Dive Vessel King Neptune. Where the vessel had broken free of its moorings a year in heavy weather and “A harbor patrol officer, who later jumped on board the vessel to try to move it to a safe mooring location, died after falling into the water and becoming pinned between the vessel and a seawall.”
The NTSB found that “Contributing to the death of the patrol officer who jumped on board was the Avalon Harbor Department’s decision to allow personnel to board a drifting vessel in severe weather conditions without a plan for communication and retrieval.”
The moral of the story is take of your safety first, and then the safety of other crew members, then the vessel, then the environment, and lastly the cargo.
Go home like you came on board – hopefully with ten fingers and ten toes, and keep your shipmates like that too.
Wishing you a safe and prosperous new year at sea.
J.E.P. Burton
Coeval, Inc.
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