The risk of collision at sea is a hazard to which all shipowners and seafarers are exposed, regardless of ship type or trading area. The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) provide a complete code that, if properly understood and applied, should avoid ships ever coming into collision. However, the club’s claims experience reveals a persistent frequency of collision incidents albeit with year on year variations in severity. The most serious collision incidents have the potential to involve a very broad spectrum of P&I liabilities.
In 2009, the Managers produced and distributed to Members a loss prevention DVD “Collision Course.” This was not a training program but a loss prevention initiative directed towards raising awareness amongst Masters and watch-keeping officers of some of the key issues that were causing collisions – deficiencies in lookout, safe speed, assessment of collision risk, and avoiding action.
In recognition of the loss prevention benefits to be derived from improved and comprehensive knowledge of the COLREGS, Steamship Mutual, a leading P&I Club, has produced in association with Videotel Marine International, a computer based training course covering not only the COLREGs, but also the International Association of Marine Aids and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) Buoyage Systems in both Regions A and B.
Chris Adams, Head of Loss Prevention, said, “The risk of collision at sea is one that is eminently avoidable through adherence to the requirements of the COLREGS. The Managers of Steamship Mutual firmly believe that this program will do much to improve the understanding and appreciation of both the COLREGS and buoyage systems and thereby reduce the risk of unnecessary loss arising from both collision and grounding.”