EMSA Annual Overview of Marine Casualties and Incidents 2015
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) is a European Union Agency charged with reducing the risk of maritime accidents, marine pollution from ships and the loss of human lives at sea by helping to enforce the pertinent EU legislation. It is headquartered in Lisbon. EMSA helps the European Commission and Member States to improve maritime safety by analysing accident investigation reports and producing maritime casualty statistics. A total of 9180 occurrences have been reported to European Marine Casualty Information Platform (EMCIP) over its first four years in operation, 2011-2014, and have been used to produce this publication.
The EMCIP run by EMSA is a centralized database where Member States can store and analyse information on marine casualties and incidents. Based on the information extracted from EMCIP, EMSA published now the second edition of the Annual Overview of Marine Casualties and Incidents in 2015. Data from EMCIP were also used to support the fitness check of EU legislation on passenger ship safety (REFIT – Regulatory Fitness) and the EMSA 3 study on the damage stability of passenger ships.
EU Member States have continued to increase the reporting of casualties and incidents in EMCIP. Comparison of the notifications in EMCIP against commercial sources that record accidents, suggested that approximately 3.500 occurrences (ranging from marine incidents at the lower end of the scale through to very serious accidents) could be expected to be notified annually.
However, only some 3.025 occurrences were in fact reported to EMCIP for the year 2014. It should be borne in mind that there can be a time-lag between the incident and it being reported in EMCIP, and a number of incidents that took place in 2014 were still to be notified when the data for the Annual Overview was extracted.
The implementation of the reporting of marine casualties and incidents into EMCIP has been a gradual process. While the data can be used to shed light on certain aspects of maritime safety, it should not be used as an indication of the full picture.
Over the period 2011-2014 under consideration, more than 390 persons lost their lives and 3.250 were injured. Around two thirds of the total occurrences directly involved damage to a ship while one third was about accidents to persons on board.
While the majority of ships that sank were fishing vessels, cargo ships represented 44% of all ships involved. 67% of accidents were related to human erroneous actions.
Although EMCIP contains a substantial body of data, the population of the database has been gradual and progressive and it is too soon for this publication to provide a full picture or indicate trends over recent years. However, if used with caution, the data provides a picture of some aspects of maritime safety within the scope of the Directive.
In total, the accident investigation bodies of the EU Member States opened investigations into more than 530 accidents and incidents that occurred from 2011 to 2014. Some 410 investigation reports were published. 55% of the safety recommendations issued by the accident investigation bodies have been positively considered by the addressees.