The Future of Maritime 2023 Report stresses the importance of cooperation, collaboration, and data-driven strategies to enhance safety at sea.
While overall vessel losses have decreased, distress calls from ships at sea rose from 749 in 2021 to 853 in 2022. Marine incidents continue steadily, with tankers, container ships, and bulk carriers leading Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) calls in 2022, primarily from vessels aged twelve years and older.
In light of digitalization and decarbonization efforts, maritime safety gains increasing significance. The report highlights the potential of new technologies to improve safety outcomes. Peter Broadhurst, Inmarsat Maritime’s senior VP of safety and security, questions whether enough is being done to safeguard seafarers and vessels.
To address safety concerns, the report recommends goal-based safety standards, structured data collection, and an international marine casualty and incident dataset shared among safety bodies. It also suggests establishing an overarching safety goal and key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate regulatory impact and safety initiatives’ effectiveness.
In a featured case study, seafarers underscore the importance of rigorous training, safety drills, proper PPE, sufficient rest, manageable shifts, and increased crew numbers for enhanced safety. They express optimism about the potential of automation and AI to reduce human errors. Jaith Peethambaran, a 4th engineer, notes that prioritizing safety makes shipping companies more appealing to crew and job seekers.