RMI has published its Annual Report on the investigation of Marine Casualties, revealing that it received reports of 806 very serious marine casualties, marine incidents, and occurrences in 2019. Accidental falls, enclosed space incidents and collisions-groundings during pilotage were the main issues of concern last year.
Specifically, during 2019:
– 17 very serious casualties were reported to the Administrator. Two very serious casualties resulted in the constructive total loss of a ship, while 11 others resulted in the loss of one or more lives. Additionally, four occurred on yachts and resulted in their constructive total loss due to fire.
– Accidental falls were the leading cause of death during 2019, with seven lives lost. Four of these fatalities were the result of falls from height and three were falls overboard. Improper enclosed space entry also resulted in the loss of two seafarers
– There were 331 marine casualties.
– Serious injuries (resulting in incapacitation for 72 hours or more) were by far the most frequently occurring marine casualty during 2019, accounting for 158 of the 331 total marine casualties reported to the Administrator.
– There were a total of 346 marine incidents.
– There were 112 occurrences.
– Accidental falls, including those from height and overboard, were the most common cause of death and a significant cause of injuries of seafarers onboard RMI-registered ships in 2019.
– Falls from height are also a significant means of serious injury to seafarers on RMI-registered ships.
– Common causal factors identified during the Administrator’s investigation into these casualties are the failure to identify the risk of a fall, failure to use the proper PPE, and failure to follow safe working procedures. The lack of established procedures and the lack of availability of PPE were not seen as causal factors of incidents involving falls from height.
Enclosed Space Entry and Rescue Incidents
During 2019, improper enclosed space entry and rescue continued to be a cause of death of seafarers onboard RMI-registered ships. This accounted for the death of two seafarers and the serious injury of two more. Year-after-year, lives continue to be lost at sea due to improper enclosed space entry and rescue.
All seafarers must understand that the purpose of conducting enclosed space entry and rescue training is to:
a) recognize what constitutes an enclosed space;
b) recognize and understand the risks and precautions to take prior to entry; and
c) practice realistic rescue drills.
Collisions and Groundings While Under Pilotage
The number of collisions and groundings that occurred in 2019 with a pilot on board is consistent with the number that occurred in prior years.
49% of collisions investigated by the Administrator occurred while the ship was under pilotage. The fact that 67% of groundings occurred when a Pilot was on board is consistent with the fact that shoal waters are most frequently encountered when a ship is under pilotage.
Causal factors commonly identified during the Administrator’s marine safety investigations of collisions and groundings that occurred under pilotage include:
– improper delegation of responsibility for navigation decision making to the Pilot;
– ineffective information sharing during the Master/Pilot exchange;
– ineffective communications between the Master, Pilot, and other members of the ship’s bridge team;
– ineffective navigation watch standing by ship bridge teams when a Pilot is on board; and
– the Pilot communicating with tugs, local or river traffic, and vessel traffic services in a local language leading to the bridge team’s lack of situational awareness.
Download the pdf report: RMI-Annual-Report-on-Investigation-of-Marine-Casualties-2019-2020