Minister Calls for ‘Sea Change’ in Maritime Safety Culture

By George Backwell
Friday, June 27, 2014
Crew wear lifejackets: File photo

Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has called for a sea change in attitudes to maritime safety, as he launched a new consultation process on maritime safety: Sea Change – Building a new Maritime Safety Culture.

Minister Varadkar highlighted the 134 maritime fatalities which have occurred since 2002, almost half of which were as a result of leisure activities on recreational craft. He was speaking at the launch of the consultation process in the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport which included stakeholders from shipping, fishing, leisure, passenger operators, maritime safety and many other sectors.

Minister Varadkar said: “We all need to take a fresh look at how we use the waters in and around our island, and build a culture of maritime safety in our communities. This requires a radical change of culture in our attitude to safety.”
 
The results of the consultation process will feed into the first ever Maritime Safety Strategy for Ireland.
 
Sea Change looks at how to address the top ten factors contributing to loss of life at sea in Ireland:

  • Lack of an adequate maritime safety culture;
  • Unsuitable or inadequately maintained safety equipment on board, or lack thereof;
  • Lack of crew training;
  • Failure to plan journeys safely, including failure to take sea/weather conditions into account;
  • Non-wearing of personal flotation device (PFD);
  • Vessel unseaworthy, unstable and/or overloaded;
  • Inadequate enforcement of regulations;
  • Impairment due to fatigue or the influence of alcohol and/or drugs;
  • Inadequate crewing levels/solo operation;
  • Unsuitable clothing being worn on board.

 
The Ministry informs that the consultation period runs until 29th August 2014, and the new Strategy will be published later this year. It will be monitored closely during implementation and reviewed and updated within a five year period.
 
 
 


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