The information is published to inform the shipping and fishing industries, the pleasure craft community and the public of the general circumstances of marine accidents and to draw out the lessons to be learned. The sole purpose of the Safety Digest is to prevent similar accidents happening again. The content must necessarily be regarded as tentative and subject to alteration or correction if additional evidence becomes available. The articles do not assign fault or blame nor do they determine liability. The lessons often extend beyond the events of the incidents themselves to ensure the maximum value can be achieved.
In his introduction to the Safety Digest, Andrew Moll, MAIB (Interim) Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents says,
“Anyone who knows me will already be aware that I like simplicity. There is seldom anything simple about a marine accident, but to my mind there are usually three recurring components: an underlying weakness or vulnerability in the system (which includes the people); a trigger event or additional stressor that exploits an existing weak spot to cause an accident; and the aftermath, or how it is dealt with. As I was reminded as I approached my first sea command, it is not what happens that matters; it is how you deal with it.
“Like so much in life, safety is about preparation, and doing things today instead of putting them off until tomorrow. Many of the underlying weaknesses that create the pre-conditions which allow an accident to happen involve matters that ought to have been addressed, but have been left unattended for one reason or another. Just this month another fishing vessel has been lost due to downflooding because leaking seals on a couple of through-deck hatches had not been replaced. However, what is striking about this edition is the number of cases where shortcuts and work-arounds have become part of normal business, with the result that essential safety barriers such as alarms and limits were not set, or were disabled or ignored.
“At the other end of the accident timeline is the aftermath: the crew’s ability to deal with an emergency situation. Anyone who has experienced a flood, fire, explosion, man overboard, or any other emergency will be determined not to let it happen to them again. They will make an effort to learn their ship’s systems and procedures, and how to locate and use the emergency equipment.”
Introductions have been written to the merchant, commercial fishing and recreational craft sections of this digest by Sir Alan Massey, Sheryll Murray MP and Theo Stocker. All three have written from both their professional and own personal perspectives, and their words are very powerful.
Download and read the 80 page pdf Safety Digest: MAIB_Safety_Digest_October_2018