Jamaica Strives to Reduce Death at Sea

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Captain Steven Spence (Photo: Jamaica Ship Registry)

Jamaica Joins the Pledge to Reduce the Loss of Lives at Sea

Jamaica is backing a pledge by the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to half the number of lives lost at sea by 2015.

Mr. Koji Sekimizu has made reducing maritime casualties a key aim of his term of office. IMO figures put the number of lives lost at sea in 2012 at approximately 1,000, including 500 in international shipping.

Rear Admiral Peter Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, said, “We fully endorse the Secretary General’s aims and will do all we can to assist him to achieve his target. We are fortunate in Jamaica to have no reported loss of life in 2012 from any Jamaican-registered ships trading internationally. However twelve shipping casualties in Jamaican waters were reported to the maritime authority last year one of which involved a death of a seafarer due to an occupational safety incident. Any loss of life is a tragedy and we will do all we can to further reduce this figure in coming years.”

The regulation of ship safety in Jamaica is carried out by the Maritime Authority and the Harbor Master. Inspectors from the Maritime Authority board and inspect foreign-flagged vessels as well as issue safety certificates to Jamaican registered ships.

During 2012 MAJ inspectors boarded and inspected 109 foreign-flagged ships calling at Jamaican ports of which nine were detained for safety related deficiencies which had to be corrected before the ships could leave the port.

In all, 122 deficiencies were found with the majority having to do with occupational safety and safety of navigation including, crew and accommodation, life-saving appliances, fire safety, safety of navigation, propulsion and auxiliary machinery, stability, structure and related equipment, accident prevention and ISM Code deficiencies.

To strengthen its dedication to saving lives, Jamaica, represented by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), participated in a useful seminar on Port State Control hosted jointly by the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (CMOU) and the Belize Port Authority.

The three-day event, held in Belize City in April, focused on training participants in the use of the revised CMOU Manual on PSC and on introducing participants to the Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) regime.

Delegates representing a wide range of Caribbean countries took part in two days of theoretical training and one day of practical training in the port of Belize onboard luxury cruise liner the Norwegian Dawn and the Jamaica-flagged cargo vessel CFS Pacora.

It is the directive of the CMOU that delegates in attendance are expected to conduct training on the Manual with their respective inspectors on their return home and submit a report to CMOU indicating the number of inspectors so trained.

The main areas covered were guidelines to the type of inspection to be conducted based on the preliminary checks done and the risk calculator points awarded, ship risk calculator, clear grounds, manning issues, ratification tables, focus areas and international contact list for maritime administrations worldwide.

Mr. Henry Tomlinson, Marine Inspector for the MAJ, who attended the course said, “The training was quite fruitful as its objectives were met in regards to the in-depth training received. Of particular importance is the CIC which we are looking forward to implementing later this year, to bolster our thrust in the region to reducing substandard shipping and contribute to the reduction in lives lost at sea.”

The Maritime Authority of Jamaica also welcome Captain Steven Spence, who has been appointed the Director of Safety, Environment and Certification.

Captain Spence brings to the role maritime experience having served onboard foreign-going vessels for more than 20 years with over 10 years as a Master Mariner. He is a graduate of the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) in Jamaica, and of Warsash Maritime College in the United Kingdom and holds a U.K. Masters’ Foreign- Going License (unlimited tonnage).

In his role at the MAJ Captain Spence is involved in Port State and Flag State Inspections and ISM and ISPS audits. He also serves as a Nautical Examiner for Masters and Mates on MAJ’s examination board.



  • Photo: Jamaica Ship Registry

    Photo: Jamaica Ship Registry

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