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jueves, 2 de septiembre de 2010

MAIB Annual Report 2009 released

Source: Maritime Journal
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s Annual Report for 2009 reveals that 1,663 marine accidents and incidents were reported to the MAIB during the year.

This is a figure which they describe as signifying a number of unnecessary accidents at sea, few of which can be attributed to the convenient excuse of ‘the sea being a hazardous environment’.

Stephen Meyer has used this annual report, his last before leaving the MAIB this year after a little over eight years as MAIB Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, to reflect on the task of being at the head of an organisation tasked with finding the lessons to be learned from marine accidents and making recommendations aimed at improving the overall safety of the industry in general. In particular is the fact that despite the MAIB’s small size and budget, it is seen as a world leader in the field of marine accident investigation.

Operating with a staff of just 39, the majority of the accident reports received that fell within the remit of the MAIB were subsequently followed up with the prime aim of ensuring that appropriate actions are taken to prevent a re-occurrence. Investigations were launched into 46 incidents, 20 of which developed into full investigations resulting in the publication of major reports.

The MAIB manages its heavy workload by selecting which incidents may reveal important lessons that can be highlighted to all concerned, including regulatory bodies as well as those directly involved. This approach leads to what is described as a ‘lean and mean’ organisation, a model that attracts representatives from other countries eager to learn how they do so much for so little. The MAIB is concerned however that an EU Directive requiring them to conduct full investigations into all very serious accidents from 2011 could double or even treble their workload at a time of considerable resource restraints.

As mentioned, producing recommendations is the main focus of the MAIB, but without creating a presumption of blame or liability. There are three levels of recommendation, the highest includes the potential introduction of new legislation or changes in policy. 84 recommendations were made to 117 addressees in 2009, 88% of which have either been accepted or accepted but yet to be implemented. Recommendation are categorised under four main headings; general maritime, commercial shipping, fishing vessels and leisure vessels.

Since 2004 the number of recommendations has gradually fallen and breaking down the various responses reveals more of a mixed picture, with the number of recommendations that have been rejected falling from 11 in 2004 to none in 2009.

The statistics section contains a detailed breakdown of accident data divided into UK vessel accidents involving loss of life, UK Merchant vessels, UK non-commercial vessels, UK fishing vessels and non-UK commercial vessels. 43 lives were reported as having been lost during 2009. Information within each subsequent group is broken down into historical data, accidents by nature and vessel category, death and injury to crew and passengers by place, rank and type of injury.


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