Ferry Business - Autumn/Winter 2022

9 1 The Future of Maritime Safety report examined distress calls across the shipping industry between 2019 and 2021 “It’s fair to say that safety record vary across the shipping industry, but in the passenger segment safety is a core concern, which operators do an extremely good job in addressing,” he says. “Given that for the passenger sector you’re discussing the protection of people rather than cargo, and the associated reputational damage that would come from harm to a passenger, safety is very, very important. However, there are still areas of improvement that could be made.” Among the areas that Broadhurst highlights is crew training for dealing with incidents and encouraging them to report any problems that may arise. He suggests that a reluctance to admit that an incident has taken place may be impeding the industry in improving its overall safety records. “Shipping has been around for thousands of years, so I don’t think that there’s anything that should come as a surprise,” he says. “There are processes to deal with every situation, but I’m not convinced that enough is done to make sure that these are carried out. There’s a reluctance to report incidents or reach out for external support. Crew and ship operators shouldn’t be punished if they report it, because we need them to be able to report problems in an open environment for the industry to learn from it and move on.” Broadhurst also suggests that ship operators should collaborate more closely to improve safety by establishing industry-wide standards. “Many ship operators have their own, internal, methods of tracking safety, and insurance providers have data on all the accidents that take place on a ship,” he explains. “But we need to have a benchmark if we are to ensure the industry is improving, because there’s currently some sectors that are less focused on safety than others. That’s the eventual aim of this report, and we’re happy to have constructive feedback about what needs to be included within it to support the industry. Lessons can be learned by all of us to improve safety levels to where they need to be.” Inmarsat is making its own contribution to safety in the industry with the development of a new solution, Fleet Safety. The data service, which has been approved by the International Maritime Organization, supports GMDSS compliance for voice and data distress, along with urgency and safety communications. Combining a Maritime Safety Terminal with existing services provided by its FleetBroadband or Fleet One solutions, Fleet Safety provides a more comprehensive range of safety features.