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Editorial highlighting a number of interesting articles

This month’s newsletter 49 finds a number of interesting articles and highlights; collision regulation loss prevention placards; Automatic Identification System (AIS) Aids to Navigation (ATON), AIS ATON (AIS Buoys); Virtual AIS ATON; marine safety investigation involving the collision between Kota Wajar and the yacht Blazing Keel in Queensland on 6 July, 2014; a grounding report of ro-ro Commodore Clipper
following disabling of ECDIS; Offshore Vessels (OSV) for the Oil & Gas Industry; Safety Climate; Toastmasters International and the coaching of cadets in English, communication and leadership; and finally, “What is your stone” in life?

Marine safety and IMO responsibility

Incidents involving maritime safety seems will always be forefront in seafaring! As many may already know, tasked with helping ensure maritime safety, the International Maritime
Organization (IMO), “…is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN)…responsibility…to improve the safety and security of International shipping and to prevent pollution from ships” (; their
responsibility also includes energy efficiency of ships.

World Maritime Day 2012 a watershed

In the paper, “15 Years of Shipping Accidents: A review for WWF Southampton Solent University,” the suggestion was that over 40 years of safety and environmental accidents have been the impetus of a multitude of regulation and regimes (Butt). The paper further suggests that 2012 was a watershed in that World Maritime Day 2012 was used to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic as well as note several other serious
accidents. Little could they have imagined the catastrophic MV SEWOL which capsized in Korea, killing over 295 soles; the Captain was eventually convicted and sentenced to over
36 years.

Renew the spotlight on the main causes of shipping accidents

The disasters highlighted during World Maritime Day 2012 were supposed to “…renew the spotlight on the main causes of Shipping accidents…”, with the hope of making significant
change (Butt, 2).

Editorial highlighting key research on maritime safety

According to Butt, much of the key research highlighted in the aforementioned paper over 15 years included input from expert stakeholders from industry including major European shipping insurers, the MAIB, the IMO, Lloyds Register, a Naval Architect and an English P & I Club from the International Group. The criteria for the research of safety accidents included shipping complexities, the industry in general, insurance, underwriting requirements, role of IACS, Port State CONTROL and class societies (2). Absent it seems, in all the criteria was a hard look at MET, training and competency. The evidence links issues with safety to older vessels, Cargo carriers, and “poor performing” Flag States. The report does suggest slight improvements in safety and disasters, but also seems to lack the rigor of statistical standard tests, scrutiny, trend analysis and significance.

What is the role of Maritime Education and Training?

A relevant question seems to be what is maritime education and training’s (MET) role is in helping to ensure maritime safety; possibly produce competent COC holders and thus make the seas safer? That doesn’t seemed to have worked thus far. A similar question was also asked in NL 47, reference was made to the World Maritime University (WMU) mission as a way ahead. In that article it was also suggested that the lofty WMU goals may
be a little too high for a certificate program or institution where the focus is primarily on STCW in lieu of loftier goals like safety of maritime shipping.

Editorial begging the question again of the role of MET

So it is in that contest that Newsletter 49 begs the question again as to what should be the goals and missions for MET that compliment both the WMU or IMO goals. In producing
competent seafarers, let’s not forget this includes knowledge, skill (practical), experience and attitude. Perhaps the answer or key to maritime safety then lies not in knowledge or skills but attitude or behavior! Your feedback is important, please join us on the
Globalmetblog where over 130,127 subscribers have a voice for change.


Butt, N., Pike, K., Pryce-Roberts, N., Vigar, N., 2013. ‘15 years of shipping accidents: a review for WWF’. Available from

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