A decrease in the number of shipping accidents

In 2012 261 shipping accidents occurred in Norway, according to figures the Norwegian Maritime Directorate has registered.

The number of shipping accidents is thus roughly the same level as in 2011, when statistics showed 269 shipping accidents. Foreign vessels in Norwegian waters accounted for 32 of the accidents.

Director General of Shipping and Navigation Olav Akselsen is satisfied that there is a slight decrease in the number of shipping accidents in 2012:

“But although the number of accidents have levelled off in recent years and has shown a slight decline last year, I had hoped  that the statistics had shown a more pronounced decline. The number of accidents remains at a high level. This indicates that the shipping companies still have some ground to cover in their safety work,” Akselsen says.

Risk analysis

He states that the Norwegian Maritime Directorate now has conducted thorough risk analysis for the different vessel types in order to reduce the number of accidents. Through the analysis the directorate has arrived at specific measures to reduce the risk of accidents. This may include measures related to inspections carried out on board, preventive work and possible changes to regulations.

“Using this analysis, the Norwegian Maritime Directorate will become even more targeted in its efforts to increase safety at sea,” Akselsen says.

Developments in accidents

The preliminary statistics show that the number personal injuries on Norwegian ships (in both domestic and international traffic) has increased from 234 in 2011 to 267 last year. The number of fatal accidents show a decline from 13 (2011) to 11 last year.

“In recent years we have seen very good performance in terms of personal injuries, and we hope this trend will continue in 2013, despite a slight increase last year. Shipping companies have a responsibility to continue to focus on the prevention of personal injuries, which they have been good at in recent years,” says Olav Akselsen.

Inspection of foreign ships

The system for inspecting foreign ships calling at Norwegian ports has also improved. Norway is a member of Paris MoU, which organizes the inspection of foreign vessels in 27 countries, so-called port state controls. From 1 January 2011, the inspection system changed, so that ships that are in the high risk category are to be inspected much more often than those in the standard or low risk categories.

“Since the new inspection system was introduced, we check fewer foreign ships than before. We have nevertheless detained a higher percentage of ships. This shows that we have a more efficient system to stop the high risk vessels,” notes Director General Akselsen.