The European Maritime Safety Agency’s most recent report has been released and provides information about shipping and other maritime activities in European waters and of European-flagged ships around the world. The report indicates that the number of maritime accidents increased in 2016, continuing a growing trend. The report also tallied occupational accidents, such as falls, electrical accidents, and fires.
The EMSA and Annual Report
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) is an agency of the European Union (EU) based in Lisbon, Portugal. The agency takes actions to improve safety in the maritime industry, including both preventative and reactive actions. The EMSA is responsible for implementing and monitoring EU maritime laws, provides information, such as tracking systems for vessels, provides scientific information for safer shipping, and helps to prevent or respond to polluting accidents. The annual report is an overview of maritime incidents and casualties that the agency tracks every year.
2016 Maritime Casualty Statistics
The EMSA report for 2017 is an overview of statistics from 2016 and previous years. The report found that there were 3,145 maritime incidents and casualties in 2016. These included 106 fatalities, 79 serious but not fatal casualties, and 957 people injured. Twenty-six vessels were lost in incidents that involved a total of 3,505 ships.
Maritime Accident Trends, 2011 to 2016
The EMSA report also includes data from the previous five years for the sake of comparison and for finding trends. The number of incidents and casualties went down slightly from 2015 to 2016, but overall has been increasing since 2011. Very serious incidents have remained steady year after year, while serious incidents have been increasing. The number of ships involved in casualties and accidents has also increased steadily over the last five years.
Another interesting finding from the report was that nearly 2,000 ships involved in incidents over the last five years were involved in two incidents. More than 600 were involved in three incidents, and nearly 300 were involved in four. The incidents reported were most likely to occur with cargo ships, followed by passenger ships, fishing vessels, and service ships. The number of incidents involving passenger ships and fishing vessels increased in 2016. The average age of ships involved in incidents was 18 years.
Most of the incidents reported were ship casualties, such as capsizing incidents, collisions, or groundings. Most common were incidents that involved loss of control. The remaining maritime incidents were categorized as occupation accidents, of which serious incidents declined while less serious incidents increased. These included slip and fall accidents, accidents involving equipment and machinery, and other accidents. Occupational incidents were most common on cargo ships, followed by passenger ships and fishing vessels. About 40 percent of the incidents were slip and falls.
The EMSA report for 2017 provides valuable and detailed information about safety issues in the maritime industry. Despite prevention efforts, the industry is dangerous and there are thousands of accidents each year that may cause injuries, deaths, cargo losses, and loss of ships. The information gathered in the report is beneficial in providing areas in which there is room for improvement to reduce losses, damages, and injuries and deaths to workers and passengers.