The European Maritime Safety Agency recently issued its “Preliminary Annual Overview of Marine Casualties and Incidents” occurred between 2014-2020.

Namely the publication contains statistics on marine casualties and incidents that: involve ships flying a flag of one of the EU Member States; occur within EU Member States’ territorial sea and internal waters; or involve other substantial interests of the EU Member States.

According to the report, based on casualties reported by the national accident investigation bodies of the EU, the total number of casualties in 2020 has reduced 18% in comparison with 2019. As explained, such positive result should be considered within the context of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, which has been impacting the intensity of global shipping.

What is more, the most positive results were found in the number of lives lost (reduction of 48% in 2020 compared to the year 2019), while the number of injured persons.

As EMSA highlighted: Between 2019 and 2020, figures indicate a reduction of occurrences for almost all ship types, with a greater reduction for cargo ships (15%) and passenger ships (44%).

However, the number of fishing vessels involved in marine accidents remained at a similar level in 2020, as fishing activity was likely much less impacted by the outbreak.

Navigational events (collisions, groundings and contacts) represented the biggest part of casualties with a ship, marking 43%. At the same time, a reduction of 15% of casualties with a ship was noted.

Accident to persons represented 37% of all marine casualties. In comparison with 2019, a drop of 28% was noted. In addition, during 2020, 7 vessels were lost, 5 of them being fishing vessels.

The number of pollutions resulting from marine casualties continued decreasing in 2020. In fact, since 2014, an overall reduction of 68% was noted.

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Accident Investigation bodies of the European Union have launched 923 investigations during the past 6 years, among them 757 were concluded. 74 investigations were initiated in 2020.

Concluding, the overall number of investigations led to 2011 safety recommendations and actions taken, targeting mainly Ship Related Procedures / Operations and Human Factors / Training, skills and experience.

Source: Safety4Sea

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