Navigation Accidents and their Causes published by The Nautical Institute

Associations, Books, Communication, Health and Safety, HR, Marine Insurance, Maritime Accidents, Maritime Education and Training, Safety and Security, The Nautical Institute — By on September 21, 2015 at 11:42 AM

Cover21.09.15 – The Nautical Institute’s latest book looks at major casualties and the lessons that can be learned, setting out good practice to avoid them in future. The book, launched today (Monday), examines nearly 30 casualties and the problems of fatigue, bridge resource management, Colregs and other issues where human factors contributed to the accidents.

In his Foreword to the book, Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization,  said: “This timely publication from The Nautical Institute should provide a crucial guide for every mariner serving at sea and serve to assist in reducing collisions and groundings.
“The publication is written in maritime English for international mariners. Each chapter can be read
individually, thus forming a valuable onboard resource.”

An international group of authors, including accident investigators, Master Mariners, navigation
specialists and university lecturers, used their experience and knowledge to look at the mistakes that
have led to collisions and groundings. Previous casualties have been used to illustrate where failures
have occurred and lessons which can be learned. The need for risk assessment in advance of a
voyage is highlighted in many ways, including bridge resource management and passage planning.

The authors looked into the future, to identify trends that may impact on navigational risk and
suggest ways to mitigate them. This innovative approach goes beyond the scope of Collisions and
their Causes and Strandings and their Causes, both previously published by The Nautical Institute
and written by the late Captain Richard Cahill MBA FNI. While Navigation Accidents and their Causes examines failings that Cahill identified so clearly, it goes further by suggesting onboard training and mentoring as the way to learn from accidents.

Technical Editor, David Pockett BSc FNI, explained that navigation aids are only “as good as the user” and need an alert observer who understands the input and output, can assess the data provided and identify faults. In the future he said “the navigator will still play an important role but the job
specification will be wider and more sophisticated than before.

“Spatial issues too will become ever more of a challenge, ” continued Mr Pockett, a leading casualty
investigator and a member of the panel of Special Casualty Representatives at Lloyd’s. “The
continued exploration for hydrocarbons offshore and implementation of renewable energy systems
will have an impact on navigation, particularly in coastal areas, ” he explained. New exclusive
economic zones, reduced sea room, greater regulatory measures and the need for yet tighter
control all suggest a leaning towards a ‘Big Brother’ approach in the future.

He said that with the prospect of autonomous ships and increased involvement of VTS it might be a
case of “the navigator navigating or being navigated, or perhaps moving from active to passive

The book launch coincided with a seminar organised by the Institute on Manning and Fatigue.
Captain Nick Nash FNI, an Institute Vice-President, said: “We have been informing the world about
the dangers of fatigue and lobbying for change for decades. The danger of operating a Master/mate
six on/six off system is that the ship cannot comply with the ISM Code and its own SMS. Or at best,
has great difficulty in complying. Extreme fatigue in all watchkeepers is bound to result.
“We will continue our campaign as fatigue is a factor in many accidents and near misses, minor and
major. We hope that is the start of a new phase in our work towards reducing, if not removing, the
threat that crews face from fatigue.”

Captain Nash, who serves with Carnival Cruises, added: “The overall message from the book and the
seminar is that everyone can learn from the mistakes of others and everyone has a part to play in
ensuring that training and experience are used effectively to keep vessels safe. Onboard training and
mentoring may hold the key, and the navigation bridge is an ideal place for this to take place.”
Navigation Accidents and their Causes is available from The Nautical Institute price: £40; ISBN: 978 1 906915 32 2
The Nautical Institute is the international professional body for qualified seafarers and others with
an interest in nautical matters. It provides a wide range of services to enhance the professional
standing and knowledge of members who are drawn from all sectors of the maritime world.
Founded in 1972, it has nearly 50 branches world-wide and some 7, 000 members in over 110
countries. In 2015, the Institute was the proud recipient of the Investment in People award for its
Navigator magazine at the Seatrade Awards.

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