News Item

Navigation accidents and their causes

The latest in The Nautical Institute’s 2017 series of Command Seminars focused on 'Navigation Accidents and their Causes'.

The latest Command Seminar, held in Cork on 12-13 October, also looked at wider issues affecting the future development of the shipping industry. The Nautical Institute (NI) Past President, Capt Robert McCabe, stressed in his opening address: 'Human factors are the real cause of many accidents. We can’t get rid of human error, so it is important to put up defences against those mistakes by establishing good practice.'

But, whilst human error has been a major focus for many years, there is increasing concern about the possibility of accidents caused by interaction between seafarers and the autonomous vessels with which they may soon be sharing sea-lanes. Speaker Donal Keaney noted: 'There is pressure from autonomous ship development to remove ambiguity in Colregs - but this is not likely to happen.'

This view was backed by our own Prof Andy Norris - a Fellow of both Institutes. Speaking on the do’s and don’ts of electronics at sea, he warned: 'There should be very little change in the Colregs to take into account autonomous vessel operation. They will have to learn to operate within existing Colregs; otherwise, every mariner will have to be retrained.'

The seminar also looked at some of the many issues seafarers continue to face worldwide:
- the need for a worldwide regulatory regime for the industry
- cyber-security
- the need to reduce paperwork onboard
- accurate record-keeping, particularly hours of work and rest
- leadership and competency to prevent incidents

This was one of 5 Command Seminars during 2017, all offering opportunities for debate, discussion and networking with maritime professionals. The final seminar takes place in Limassol, Cyprus, on 3 November.

A full press release can be downloaded below and more details can be found at the link . .

  • 17 October 2017
  • RIN


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