Twelve months after the Costa Concordia incident, a new report identifies that 106 ship losses were reported worldwide in the 12 months to Nov. 25, 2012 — up from 91 ships the previous year.
However, the report by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, an insurance and risk management company for commercial marine, aviation and corporate businesses, notes a 27 percent decrease on the 10-year average of 146 ships per annum. Despite this long term downward trend, driven by technology, training and regulation and a proactive response from the shipping industry to safety improvement, human error remains the core challenge.
In its annual ‘Safety and Shipping Review’ of maritime losses, Allianz highlights developments in shipping safety during 2012.
The year was marked by two high-profile accidents with the loss of the Costa Concordia off Italy on Jan. 13 (the largest loss of the year at 114,137 gross tons) followed by that of the ferry, Rabaul Queen, off Papua New Guinea on Feb. 2, both causing multiple fatalities.
According to the report, foundering (sinking or submerging) was the most common cause of losses in the last year (49 percent) followed by wrecking or running aground (22 percent). Collisions such as that involving the Baltic Ace and Corvus J in early December 2012 accounted for a relatively small number of losses (6 percent).
The report highlights that human error remains a root cause of most incidents. Fatigue, economic pressures, and inadequate training are causes for concern.