The European Maritime Safety Agency, EMSA, has issued the Annual Overview of Marine Casualties and Incidents. It consists in a high-level analysis of accidents reported by the EU Member States in European Marine Casualty Information Platform (EMCIP). During 2015 there were 115 reported fatalities, 976 persons injured, 36 ships lost and 125 investigations launched.
With 3296 marine casualties and incidents in 2015, the total number reported in EMCIP has reached almost 12600. Some under-reporting of marine casualties and incidents still appears to exist, although there has been continuousimprovement since the implementation of the relevant EU legislation in 2011. Estimates indicate that under-reporting relates mostly to the less serious casualties and incidents and this is consistent with the increases shown in these categories while more serious casualties remained at levels similar to previous years.
Over the period 2011-2015, half of the casualties were of a navigational nature, such as contacts, groundings/strandings or collisions. Amongst occupational accidents, 39% were attributed to slippings, stumblings and fallings of persons. Human erroneous action represented 63% of accidental events and 67% of accidental events were linked to shipboard operations as a contributing factor.
In 2015 more than 1 700 cargo ships were involved in marine casualties and incidents that resulted in 64 fatalities, an abnormally high number due to the loss of the general cargo ship El Faro with 33 victims, including 5 Polish crewmembers. Despite the number of fishing vessels lost continuing to increase and reaching more than 25 last year, a significant decrease of fatalities and injuries was noted.
Across the period 2011-2015, the number of fatalities on board passenger ships is dominated by the Costa Concordia (32 fatalities and 17 injured persons in 2012) and the Norman Atlantic (11 fatalities and 31 injured persons in 2014). Over the period, 65% of the victims on board passenger ships were passengers.
Also across the period 2011-2015, Member States’ investigative bodies have launched 749 investigations and 566 reports have been published. Among the 1 000 safety recommendation issued, 40% were related to operational practices, in particular safe working practices. Half of the safety recommendations were addressed to shipping companies and the rate of positive responses was above 75%.