SAFER NAVIGATION AT MINIMUM COST

D. G. Hindle

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: There can be no doubt that safer navigation is a matter that should be receiving urgent attention by the governments of maritime nations, ship owners, management, seafarers, and their unions, underwriters, P. and 1. clubs, classification societies and international bodies such as I.M.C.O. Many will argue that it is receiving urgent attention and has been for many years; I do not agree with this view. Safer navigation has been given much publicity and the views of many have been aired, but action has been unbelievably slow. In July 1978, I wrote a paper entitled “Towards Safer Navigation and Collision Avoidance”, in which I stated that “...it can reasonably be expected that collisions and strandings will steadily increase.” In April 1979, I gave the annual lecture to the Nautical Institute in London entitled “Reducing Casualties and Pollution” and I clearly endorsed my views recorded the previous year by declaring that “My view is a pessimistic one, I believe that the situation could worsen before it improves.” Re- grettably, my prognostications have been entirely vindicated by the continuing and substantial increase in casualties and ensuing loss of life during the past year. If experienced mariners are able to forecast such undesirable trends, why was action not taken to deal with the problems by the appropriate authorities? I say “appropriate authori- ties” advisedly, because it is obviously entirely unsatisfactory to rely solely on individual ship owners, management and operators, to spend money to improve safety of navigation, when freight rates in general have been so low that many ships have been laid up and many others have been operating at a loss or barely covering operating costs. Whilst it may be desirable to spend money to improve the safe navigation of vessels, I do not believe it is necessary; there is much that can be achieved without the necessity of bankrupting the ship owner. The following ideas and opinions, although most of them are not new, will, if heeded by management and seafarers alike, assist in improving the safe navigation of vessels (at minimum cost). If they are not heeded, then, regrettably, I must, once again, forecast an increase in the numbers and tonnage of vessels that will be lost in the future.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 28, Number 1
Pages: 9 - 16
Cite this article: Hindle, D. G., "SAFER NAVIGATION AT MINIMUM COST", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 28, No. 1, Spring 1981, pp. 9-16.
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