1100 delegates from 30 countries representing a total of 480 organizations

The 2015 SAFETY4SEA Forum, a PRO BONO event, successfully concluded on Wednesday 7th of October 2015 in Eugenides Foundation Athens attracting 1100 delegates from 30 countries representing a total of 480 organizations.

A unique panel of 24 global experts presented latest maritime safety perspectives, best practices, security trends, loss prevention issues and human element challenges. Positive feedback on the presentations together with roundtable discussions proved the programme and speakers successfully addressed current maritime issues.

The event organized by SQE4SEA and sponsored by ABS, ASPIDA, CHALOS & Co Law Firm, DNV GL, Dorian LPG, Hellenic War Risks, Hellenic Lloyd's Register, MAGSAYSAY, Marshall Islands Registry, Norsafe Group, Phoenix Register of Shipping, SpecTec Group, SQEMARINE, Steamship Mutual P&I Club, Thenamaris (Ships Management) Inc., Transmar Shipping and UK P&I Club. Furthermore, the event was supported by: ALBA Graduate Business School, AMMITEC, Chios Marine Club, Green Award, ECOMASYN, E, Hellenic Shipbrokers Association, , Hellenic Navy, Hellenic Committee of Lloyd's Brokers' Association, HELMEPA, HEMEXPO, Hellenic Maritime Law Association, Hellenic Society of Maritime Lawyers, International Propeller Club, IFSMA, MARTECMA, Piraeus Marine Club, University of the Aegean, University of Piraeus, WIMA, WISTA Hellas and Yatch Club of Greece.

During his welcome address Apostolos Belokas, Founder and Managing Editor of SAFETY4SEA, as the Forum Chairman, outlined the objectives of this PRO BONO event, including fostering safety excellence and sustainable shipping.

Presentations were given in four sessions as follows:

Session 1: Safety Perspectives

Apostolos-Belokas,Founder & Managing Editor,SAFETY4SEA presented ''Safety Challenges and the way forward''. He presented the industry safety record and indicated that the sector with the best performance is the Tanker Sector proceeding further to highlight what are the key ingredients of this excellent track record. Furthermore he asked the delegates to think realistically about the inevitable changes that will take place for all stakeholders within the industry, to better prepare for a safer and smarter future.

Kostas Vlachos , COO, CMM (Latsis group) presented "Challenges in promoting a safer operating environment on board". He referred to the challenges for a safer environment onboard stating that from a tanker's owner prospective accidents may occur due to either improper shipboard implementation by crew or the wrong way that messages from lessons to learnt are passed from top to bottom or numerous ineffective control mechanisms (e.g. audits) that fail to operate properly. He focused on providing guidance and answers on how to properly manage these three challenges.

Capt. John Dickie, Secretary General, IFSMA gave a presentation entitled ''Anti Piracy, Human Rights and other untold stories''. He started his presentation with a statement made from research that '' Piracy and Armed Robbery are here to stay for the foreseeable future'' and explained that this not only shows a disturbing trend but also that the overwhelming and long term problem lies in the South China Sea. He stated that it is a non-disputable fact that armed security guards carried on board ships have been successful as there are no reported successful hijacking on a ship under way and carrying such personnel on board. He debated on IMB's concerns over the decision to compensate pirates and questioned the issue from the seafarers' perspective as they do have human rights and although they are abused, no compensation has evered received.

Gundula Stadie-Frohboes, Head of Dep. Risk & Safety, Systems Engineering, DNV GL gave a presentation on ''Risk assessment and safety barrier management for tanker operations''. She highlighted that one single factor might not lead to in an incident, but the combination of them, as there is mostly more than one reason behind an incident (e.g. design at the limit, manufacturing not as intended, operation at the limit). This problem can be controlled through "barrier management" which uses the bow-tie method in a continuous way. The bow-tie is in simple words a combination of fault and event tree methodology. An incident can happen if several prevention barriers, such as design, manufacturing control, operating and maintenance according to their specification, fail. She explained that for the barrier management several bow-ties are developed and combined and the barriers are continuously monitored.

Stavros Niotis, Senior Engineer, ABS addressed the ''Safety Aspects of using LNG as a Fuel''. Nowadays, the use of LNG as fuel is increasingly considered as a valuable solution for dealing with certain stricter air emissions legislation. However, when considering any new or evolving technology, it is important to have a clear understanding of not only the benefits, but the challenges that may be involved. Bunkering LNG is a different process than bunkering Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) due to some unique differences in the fuel's characteristics. This, combined with the level of activity associated with bunkering process, make LNG bunkering one of the most critical operations for this new technology. During his presentation, he focused on the major safety aspects involved with bunkering vessels with natural gas.

Giampero Soncini, CEO, SpecTec Group gave a presentation entitled ''Homo Informaticus vs Homo Nauticus''. He noticed that shipping industry has immensely changed in the last 30 years, going from an almost deregulated environment, to one of the most regulated in the world. In these last 30 years, the working conditions of crews have also changed, and not always for the best: the phenomena of criminalization of seafarers, the arrival of piracy, the economic crisis, the plethora of new rules and regulations have made their lives difficult. He explained that the use of IT can alleviate the burden, however the shipping industry is a very late adopter of advanced IT to manage ships. During his presentation, he examined some of the reasons behind this attitude.

Session 2 : Safety, Security & Loss Prevention

Dimitrios Orfanos, COO, Dorian LPG presented the ''Challenges for the modern Operator'' especially in the tanker trades. He referred to the following challenges that a typical operator faces: Unilateral regulations sometimes dependent on the development or maturity of new technology, demanding customers with their individual priorities, no abundance in key skills and experience in the human resources side both onboard and ashore, and an income model that is not linked to the standards of operations. He concluded that serious investment, especially in human resources, long-term planning and close attention to appraising risk in all operations and activities could be considered as key strategies for dealing with these challenges.

Chris Adams, LP Director, Steamship Mutual focused on ''Best Practices in Crew Health''. He highlighted the persistent cost of P&I crew claims, and examined the causes of these, many of which are regrettably recurrent. In the context of injury, failure to adhere to well established best practice regularly results in death or injury when entering enclosed spaces. In view of this, the current PSC concentrated inspection campaign on this issue is a welcome intervention. He also introduced and explained the objectives of the Club's latest loss prevention DVD which addresses crew health and fitness and highlights why physical fitness for seagoing employment is vitally important.

Mark Bull, Independent Marine Consultant gave a presentation entitled ''Putting Navigation back where it belongs''in which he linked the ongoing level of navigational accidents occurring worldwide to what he described as the "unimportance" of navigation in today's world. From the very first voyages of discovery, he took us on a journey to the present day showing just how marine navigation had contributed to the marine industry. He closed his presentation by offering a simple and yet minimal cost solution to this problem.

Rod Lingard, Joint MD, Hellenic War Risks analysed ''The current status of Piracy in the Gulf Guinea''. He provided an overview of the current state of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and the differences between the Gulf of Guinea and other parts of the world. He also explained the Gulf of Guinea War Risk Additional Premium Area and looked at recent incidents. Recalling some recent claims experienced by the Hellenic he reviewed a few claims issues and discussed the present position regarding on-board guards. Finally, he looked at some solutions and discussion points.

Alexandra Couvadeli, Senior Claims Director Defence, Thomas Miller Hellas presented''Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea: The Practical Legal, Commercial & Security aspects''. She addressed the legal aspects when trading in the Gulf of Guinea, with an emphasis on the threat of piracy in the region. She briefly covered the legal components of the employment of private maritime security companies in West Africa and BIMCO Guardcon, West Africa, and the main points of importance on the particular contract. In lieu of The TRITON LARK decision, she included in her presentation a short talk on the "Revised BIMCO Piracy Clause 2013". She concluded with P&I cases involving a cargo theft as well as key recommendations in relation to contract review.

Manos Roudas, General Manager, Aspida gave a presentation entitled ''Cyber Attacks: A Minor Casualty or Today's Biggest Threat?''. He focused on the recent cyber threats which are a growing menace with a significant impact on operations as well as disastrous consequences for business continuity. He analysed issues in order to be secured from cyber-attacks such as the impacts of an attack, ways to be secured from threats, measures taken under attack, how to realise you have become a target, how to avoid a targeted attack, what a hacker is looking for and who is responsible to secure the company.

Session 3 : Best Practices

Erasmia Vlachandrea, HSE & Vetting Manager, Alison Management Corp.analysed the''Best Practices on operational level from the Operator Perspective''. She stated that commercial vessels are by definition unsafe and mitigating safety risks is a challenging job. Over the past decades, rendering the ships safe is becoming more and more demanding as requirements get stricter and more complicated. The benefits of a well-established safety culture are never apparent immediately. She concluded that no matter the obstacles, it will pay off eventually.

Prof. Apostolos Papanikolaou, Director of the Ship Design Laboratory, NTUA gave a presentation on ''Designing safer ships''. He explained that the "Design for Safety" philosophy and the ensuing formalised methodology, "Risk-Based Design (RBD)" were introduced lately in the maritime industry as a new design direction setting safety as a design objective and a life-cycle imperative. This was meant to ensure that rendering safety a measurable (performance-based) design objective would incentivise industry to seek cost-effective safety solutions, in response to rising societal expectations. He highlighted that there is a necessity for knowledge-intensive and safety-critical ships where the need for innovation creates unprecedented safety challenges that cannot be sustained by prescriptive-regulation-based safety.

George Gaitas, Attorney at Law, CHALOS & Co presented ''The evolving landscape of US sanctions and other trade restrictions''. He said that US Trade Sanctions have a significant impact on international commerce and shipping, in particular and because of America's leading role in international commerce it is quite easy to run afoul of its sanctions enforcement. He advised the audience that being alert to existing sanctions regimes and knowing how to navigate through the compliance enforcement mechanisms, are essential to good commercial shipping practice. His presentation focused on easy steps that can be taken preventively to avoid unintentional entanglements with trade sanctions enforcement authorities.

Athanasios Theodorou, Marine Management Systems Senior Specialist, Hellenic Lloyds analyzed''ECDIS and ISM Code Procedures; Best Practices''. He highlighted that ECDIS is not just another piece of equipment that has to be installed on board ships . With the regulation since 2012, owners , managers urgently need to assess the implications for their fleet and to amend their procedures according to ISM code and industry requirements. Company's procedures should be tailored to meet the company's and ship needs. These can take the form of checklist (s), flow chart(s), or even more detailed written ECDIS procedures and documentation. He explained that they should be incorporated into the SMS and bridge procedures and their implementation should be verified through internal audits and navigational audits. He also said that third party audits and inspections will also assist in identification of any areas for improvement, including training.

Capt. Theodore Lalas, Regulatory Affairs European Liaison, Marshall Islands Registry analysed the ''Best Practices from the Flag Perspective''. He highlighted that in the highly regulated modern shipping industry close cooperation between flag States and port States is of great importance as it can result in fewer ship detentions and the improvement of ship and port operations. He explained that the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Maritime Administrator is committed to providing the highest quality ship registry services and that it has mandatory classification and statutory survey and certification requirements, carried out and monitored through regular inspections and in close cooperation with Classification Societies, which are recognized by RMI. During his presentation, he explained how safety and quality can be achieved through the immediate and efficient communication and interrelation of all parties involved in shipping operations.

Nikolaos Liapis, Supply and Operations Director, ELINOIL gave a presentation on ''M/T-RoRo vessels: An innovative approach for managing Safety and Quality in fuel products transportation''. He noticed that following Xrisi Avgi shipwreck in 1983, dangerous products were transported only on special vessels and not on passenger ships. As a result, islands oil supply became costly and difficult and most oil companies stopped supplying small islands. He presented briefly a solution introduced by Elinoil in 1985 which turned small tankerships in floating oil depots. In the early 2000's, ELINOIL proceeded with the design and building of a new "hybrid" Tanker which was bigger, faster and mainly safer than the old vessels. Two vessels were built and delivered in 2006, operating since then with high operational efficiency, maximum safety and environmental protection

Session 4 : Human Element

Prof. Dr. Orestis Schinas, Head of Maritime Business School, HSBA, focused on ''Education and training for the next Generation of Shipping Executives''. He analysed the key educational challenges faced as well as the requirements dictated by the industry for the training of the new generation of business leaders. He also presented the institutional setup of the Hamburg School of Business Administration and the developed programmes in the maritime field, as promoted and supported by the local industry. He stressed the merits and values of practical experiences of students, the scheduled visits in other shipping clusters and the interlocking of the academic curriculum with the hands-on practice to gain experience, by providing sufficient relevant examples

Dimiris Fokas, Training Manager, Angelicoussis Shipping Group gave a presentation on the''Challenges on Human Element development''.He noticed that the challenges in the human element development and training are increasing as well as training needs due to the new regulations, standards and technical developments. However a balance between basic skills, seamanship, soft skills and new requirements should be maintained. He explained the available methods for the appraisal and evaluation of personnel which should be used together with training tools including simulator, distance learning, CBTs, classroom etc. He concluded that there is a need to find a fair and objective balance between all above per individual, with the aim to inspire and involve everyone actively in a successful career development.

Marlon Rono, President, Magsaysay Maritime Corporation gave a presentation on the''Training and Development focusing to Retain Right Talents''He noticed that seafarers are key to shipping, therefore it is important to train and develop them in order to retain them. This includes continuous skills upgrading, use of innovation and technology such as e-learning and mobile applications, career development, job rotation, and job transition to onshore opportunities. All these tools provide seafarers career with direction and help them to achieve their aspirations based on family vision. He highlighted that the family should also be part of the seafarer's entire training and development process, by establishing programs such as financial literacy for the family. He concluded that such programmes will lead to loyalty and retention.

Michael Røssland, VP, Norsafe Academy gave a presentation regarding''Training on Lifeboat operation & maintenance''as deficiencies related to lifesaving equipment is still on the top 5 list in the ParisMOU Port State Controls. Therefore, lifesaving equipment has been subject to several new regulations and recommendations to improve safety onboard vessels and rigs. He noticed that requirements for qualification levels of personnel conducting maintenance and repairs have been increased, annual inspections have been introduced, onload-hooks need to be replaced, ships crew need to refresh their certificates every 5 years. He explained how these measures have increased the safety level onboard and highlight how important is to focus on training

George V. Lykos, Director of Damage Control School, Hellenic Navy focused his presentation on ''Managing Safety: Firefighting and Evacuation Simulators''. He referred to the fundamentals of maritime safety and the connection with maritime firefighting and evacuation. He highlighted the new trends of safety (Safety-II) and the importance of human stress in the framework of Non-Technical skills in emergencies. He explained to the audience how the Hellenic Navy firefighting and evacuation simulators increase seafarer's performance in emergency situations and ended his presentation with videos of realistic training in the simulators

Constantinos Triantafillou, Assistant Executive Coordinator, HELMEPA presented the '' HELMEPA Training Program''. He explained which training areas are covered and familiarized the audience with the e-learning program. He highlighted that the training program is a compilation of the following key factors: analysis of PSC results, analysis of maritime accidents, monitoring developments at IMO, new trends in shipping and maritime technology, monitoring developments in EU and other regions/ states as well as evaluation of previous seminars, proposals by member companies and experience from previous programs.

All sessions ended with a round table discussion and exchange with the audience.

Finally Apostolos Belokas, Forum Chairman, thanked the delegates for their participation, the sponsors for their support and the speakers for their excellent presentations and also the organizing team of the event for their contribution towards forum objectives.

All speaker videos will be uploaded on the forum webpage and SAFETYSEA YouTube channel within the next week, while you may find more details of the event and view photos at safety4sea.com/forum . Speaker presentations in PDF and Forum DVD along with Certificate of Attendance are available to SAFETY4SEA Digital Subscribers online at safety4sea.com/login