The Bahamas Maritime Authority’s (BMA) has developed a comprehensive online incident reporting portal for use by managers and owners, launched in January 2023.
The BMA’s online reporting portal replaces the nine forms that might currently be used to report anything from a serious marine casualty to a birth at sea, and portal meets all the reporting requirements of the Merchant Shipping Act and other national and international requirements. BMA explains that the main benefit of the new system is efficiency with all relevant information being captured at the same time, reducing duplication of effort completing multiple forms. Equally important will be that the collected data can be more effectively analysed for trends within The Bahamas fleet.
Nick Dowden, Assistant Director and Marine Investigator in The BMA’s Investigations Department explained how clients will benefit from the new system: “Currently it can be quite a laborious exercise to report an incident, perhaps requiring the completion of three or four different forms. By digitalising the process the system itself will handle any duplications of information needed and will also lead the user through the stages of reporting – asking only for relevant details and flagging any supporting material that is needed.
In terms of data collection and analysis, it will make it much easier for us to identify trends across our fleet so that clients can benefit from each other’s experiences. This will be particularly helpful to managers and owners who have only one or two vessels operating and so wouldn’t have the benefit of seeing the wider trends in the industry.
The new portal, which initially will run concurrently with the paper system, has been specifically designed to work even in the event of the ship’s connectivity being lost. Any report that is submitted whilst offline – even if that loss occurs midway through the reporting process – will be stored in the client’s computer cache and will synchronise with The BMA server once the connection to the internet is restored.
The new reporting tool is just one of a number of initiatives that The BMA has been introducing recently to enhance its online services and digital offering to its customers.
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