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Searching for the solution to mitigate maritime accidents

Skills and knowledge go hand in hand to ensure the safety and wellbeing of seafarers

Academic researchers have long been searching for the solution to minimize maritime accidents. After reviewing and analyzing maritime accident reports, it was found that more often than not, human error was the main factors and cause of accidents. Evidently, that there was a crucial lack of situational awareness, meaning that crew had not anticipated and made preventions for the impending accident by correctly understanding the information they got through the systems. But why is that so? Therein, lies the lack of knowledge.

In a study by the U.S. Coast Guard, it was found that the three largest problems that could help improve safety and performance were fatigue, inadequate communication and inadequate technical knowledge. Another study by the Maritime Research Centre, found that knowledge-based mistakes accounted for 13% of maritime accidents, compared to 9% of maritime accidents caused by skill-based mistakes.

Merely building on knowledge will not prevent accidents
As digital transformation upgrades systems and technologies within the industry, increasing the knowledge of seafarers is not enough to equip them with enough ammunition to battle novel situations out at sea.

The industry needs all-rounded workers. They should possess the knowledge, skill and ability to exercise the best judgment and react to unexpected situations. To achieve this, training for seafarers would have to be done selectively and holistically to upgrade both they knowledge and skills at the same time. For the more skills and knowledge they have, it would mean saving more lives at sea.

Maritime Reporter


Crewing Online Media Team
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