Maritime Safety Hindered by Secrecy and Siloed Data

Share it now

Inmarsat, a satcom provider, has released its annual safety report, revealing that distress calls from seagoing ships remain high despite improvements in other safety metrics. While merchant vessel losses have decreased by 65% over the past decade, lower-grade casualties persist. Inmarsat’s Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) handled over 850 distress calls in 2022, a 7% increase from the previous year and 5% higher than the four-year average. The report identifies machinery damage, collision, fire/explosion, and grounding as the leading causes of casualties in the shipping industry.

Tankers, rigs, and gas carriers had the highest distress frequency, with distress calls accounting for approximately 1% of the fleet per year. Inmarsat suggests that the proactive safety reporting culture in the tanker sector may contribute to the elevated rate. The main challenge to improving safety is the lack of data collection and sharing among operators due to concerns about losing a competitive advantage. Inmarsat proposes the creation of a standardized international marine casualty and incident dataset to address these long-term challenges. The report recommends establishing a common standard for casualty reports and anonymizing the data to address commercial concerns.

The report also highlights other persistent issues, including an inadequate top-down safety culture, overemphasis on human error rather than ISO human-performance standards, poor conditions for seafarers, and the perception of safety as a tick-box exercise. Inmarsat believes that better utilization of data is crucial to optimizing safety and calls for collective efforts to gather, analyze, classify, anonymize, and share safety-related data. The proposed standardized dataset aims to harmonize data collation and usage to address safety deficiencies and protect seafarers, vessels, and the environment.

Source .


Share it now