According to The Swedish Club, half of the costs of hull and machinery claims handled by the Club have arisen due to navigational claims such as collisions, contacts or groundings – a figure that has remained steady over recent years despite improved technology and the widespread implementation of Safety Management Systems.
The Swedish Club, in its latest Loss Prevention publication, Navigational Claims, has revealed a number of interesting findings relating to claims made for hull and machinery damage between 2004–2013.
It seems that many navigational claims still occur due to procedures not being properly followed by crew members, and officers not communicating with each other properly. In addition poor communication between both vessels and bridge team members and a lack of situational awareness all play a part.
Navigational Claims details measures that can be adopted to help prevent these incidents occurring in the first place, such as having clear, meaningful procedures for officers and crew to adhere to and, more importantly, ensuring they understand the consequences of not following them properly.
“Being able to identify the reasons for navigational claims is invaluable for masters and shipowners,” says Lars Malm, Director, Strategic Business Development & Client Relationship for The Swedish Club.
“This report shows that most claims can be prevented by simply ensuring that all crew follow proper procedures and consult
with each other before making major decisions.”
The Club also stresses in the report that the implementation of an effective training programme for officers is vital especially in relation to effective communication and risk assessment. Often risks increase when sailing in congested waters, dense traffic or close to land and this needs to be acknowledged and appropriate measures adopted.
The thirty-four page report uses case studies to demonstrate how navigational accidents can occur. These examples detail the cause of the accident and how it could have been prevented with proper planning and better lines of communication. As is so often the case, there is usually a chain of errors leading up to the accident and these case studies highlight the most common ones so Masters can review their own practices and eradicate any mistakes before a serious incident occurs.