The 2019 SAFETY4SEA London Forum successfully concluded on Thursday 28th of March, at the Hellenic Centre in London, UK, attracting 175 delegates from a total of 80 organizations.
The event was organized by SAFETY4SEA and was sponsored by: Diaplous Maritime Services, Hellenic War Risks, Hudson Analytix, Inmarsat, Kongsberg Digital – Maritime Simulation, NAPA, RIGHTSHIP (Carbon Offset Sponsor), RISK4SEA, SQE MARINE, T&T Salvage. Furthermore, the event was supported by: All About Shipping, Hellenic Engineers Society of Great Britain, INTERCARGO, Seafarers UK, Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee, Human Rights At Sea (HRAS), International Windship Association (IWSA), Green Award Foundation, International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) and Sailors’ Society.
Global experts provided insight on industry’s topical issues, discussing key priorities on the path to a more sustainable future and ways to face the safety, environmental and smart shipping challenges. The upcoming 2020 global sulphur cap and industry’s ambitious plans toward decarbonisation were put under the microscope. Also panellists exchanged views with the delegates over cyber threats, risk management and the critical topic of human element. Namely, crew retention and resilience as well as case of seafarers’ abandonment were presented, highlighting that the fundamental importance of human factor for the industry cannot be overstated, thus, there is need for increased global awareness on these critical issues.
Panel #1 – Smart Shipping
Mrs. Dana Jongens, Safety Services Manager, Inmarsat Maritime, talked about the maritime IoT trends and how the industry may adapt to the digital era. IoT adoption is growing in the industry, she stated, enabling the ‘smart ship’ to become a reality; in this regard, it is estimated that on average, shipowner will invest $2.5m in IoT solutions over the next three years. Also, new innovative ventures are gaining more traction but third-party solutions providers require dedicated bandwidth.
Mr. Leif Pentti Halvorsen, VP Product, Kongsberg Digital, explained how a firefighting simulator can become an advanced tool to increase the realism in training in order to realistically conduct practical exercises to demonstrate and assess competence that is described in the STCW. It gives the opportunity to experience an incident as if it happened in real-life, assess the situation and determine the best response strategy, he added.
Mr. Teemu Manderbacka, Senior R&D Engineer, NAPA, talked about the various methods for improving operational efficiency. For example, a Fleet Intelligence method gives capability to combine publicly available information including, AIS messages, global sea weather, port and terminal locations, and ship database is enhanced with ship hydrodynamics models and experience in ship design to estimate consumption of any ship on the global fleet.
Mr. Gurpreet Singhota, Senior Adviser, SMA for the STM Validation Project, shared details about the Sea Traffic Management, STM which is a concept for real-time information sharing in the maritime sector. The STM concept has been defined, developed and validated by several services in EU-projects since 2012, including 300 ships, 6 shore centres and 13 ports. STM builds on an open infrastructure and international standards, and the principle that the information owner decides with whom to share, Mr. Singhota noted and highlighted that STM-based services aim to improve safety, efficiency and the environment.
Panel #2 – Cyber & Physical Security
Mr. Chronis Kapalidis, Cyber Expert, HudsonAnalytix, stated that shipping companies, operating in a ‘cyberized’ global economy, must seek to achieve and sustain appropriate cybersecurity capabilities. Though technologies continue to develop, no ‘magic bullet’ exists for achieving a 100% cyber-secure environment. However, shipping executives must understand that cyber risk is a peril that can – and must – be managed. In this context, Mr. Kapalidis introduced the concept of cybersecurity capability maturity and provided approach considerations for institutionalizing best practices.
Mr. Michael Greenwood, Legal and Claims Manager, Hellenic Mutual War Risks Association, addressed the growing kidnap for ransom threat that piracy presents to shipping in the Gulf of Guinea region. He also explored trends providing some practical points on how an owner should respond. As noted, we currently witness that more crew are taken per attack for 2-6 week and ‘Pirate Alley’ continues to be the most risky area, therefore, if the worst happens, insurers, risk advisor, legal and correspondent help take care of things which an owner may not think about. In any case, BMP5/Global Counter Piracy measure style are fundamental loss prevention deterrents.
Mr. Dimitris Maniatis, Chief Commercial Officer, Diaplous Maritime Security provided a recap of the revised HRA in the Indian Ocean & GoG, citing current incidents and future projections. Among others, Mr. Maniatis highlighted that these areas remain of high risk to merchant vessels due to Yemen conflict, Somali based piracy and other illegal activities such as weapons, drugs and people smuggling.
Panel #3 – Human Element & Risk Management
Mrs. Sandra Welch, Deputy CEO and Director of Programme, Sailors’ Society, approached the important topics of retention and resilience through the lens of Sailors’ Society’s Crisis Response Network (CRN) and award-winning Wellness at Sea programme. Namely, she highlighted the benefits of investing in the health and overall wellness of the crew onboard, including resilience building, and the positive impact it can have on retention rates.
Mr. David Hammond, Founder and Trustee, Human Rights at Sea, presented seafarer abandonment cases urging for heightened global awareness of abuses at sea. As informed, the charity has been to India and spoken with some of abandoned seafarers’ families to discuss about the financial consequences and the effects on the children. Furthermore, HRAS has discovered that there is currently ‘the Second Abandonment’ trend where the immediate and extended families also become badly affected financially and emotionally.
Mr. Manit Chander, CEO, HiLo Maritime Risk Management, tried to debunk the myth of data collection by presenting the HiLo project, which is a new risk management tool for shipping, intended to predict and therefore prevent incidents, changing the way companies are currently addressing risk. In this regard, Mr. Chander explained how other industries approach data collection and how we need to differentiate in shipping and move forward an enhance safety culture and proactive approach.
Mr. Christopher Saunders, Vetting Superintendent, RightShip, firstly provided an overview of RighShip’s risk rating to make delegates familiar with the organization’s vetting platform. Then, he moved on explaining how industry can lead the sustainability charge and operate beyond compliance. As explained, RightShip is currently applying a carbon offsetting programme and is also working to keep seafarer welfare ahead of compliance levels. Mr. Saunders concluded his presentation highlighting that industry stakeholders need to get on the front foot in all topics concerning safety, environmental sustainability and seafarer welfare.
Panel #4 – Lessons to be learned
Capt. Paul Whyte, MBE AFNI, Shipping Technical Director (Navigation Services), London Offshore Consultants talked about the importance of situational awareness in shipping industry referring also worst aviation accidents and lessons that translate to the maritime industry. Capt. Whyte stated that the mystery of navigation is not so much knowing where you are, but knowing where you should not be. In this regard, collisions are usually about a failure to follow the COLREGS, and not looking out the window. Concluding, he emphasized on maintaining the 4x A’s for enhanced situational awaressness: Awareness, Anticipation, Application, and Action.
Mr. Elias Psyllos, VP Commercial and Risk Management, T&T Salvage mainly presented a case study to demonstrate effective ways in handling of emergencies. Key actions in such cases are: activate the Emergency Response Company, perform on-site Assessment, retain a protective agent, interact daily with the local authorities, plot a proper execution plan, protect the environmental and notify OSRO and finally exercise by planning a salvage scenario.
While trying to explain why has navigation become unimportant, Mr. Mark Bull, Principal, Trafalgar Navigation, noted that as an industry, when it comes to navigation there is no wide leading indicator system; the ISM Code does not even mention navigation. Concluding, Mr. Bull stressed that the intention to set good bridge watchkeeping standards has to start at the top; that is the chairman of the company or the commander-in-chief. Overall, navigation is “under the radar” and nobody is measuring all the elements, which combined, contribute to make it safe.
Mr. Dustin Eno, COO, Navigate Response, noted that the shipping industry is more visible now than at any time in history; from AIS vessel tracking, to seafarer social media activity, people can see the industry like never before. But unfortunately, “seeing” is not necessarily “understanding”, Mr. Eno commented reminding that greater visibility has too often attracted baseless speculation, uninformed commentary and misguided fault-finding, especially following an incident. However, if managed correctly, this increased visibility can present tremendous opportunities, he concluded and suggested few simple steps for companies toward that end.
Panel #5 – Environmental Challenges
Mr. Martin Dorsman, Secretary-General, ECSA, briefed on the environmental challenges toward 2020. The forthcoming sulphur cap aims to reduce SOx emissions, in addition lowering CO2 emissions is supported by the industry. In this regard, the IMO will have its next round of debate on short and medium term CO2 reduction measures this May and the shipping industry will support these discussions by submitting papers on possible measures. All this against the background of still very severe market conditions for many shipowners, many of which are struggling to survive, he noted.
Dr. Kostas G. Gkonis, Secretary General, INTERCARGO, explained why global regulations are at a crossroads noting that environmental regulations have been dominating lately the shipping industry’s agenda, however, safety’s fundamental importance can never be overstated. The new regulations have brought to light new challenges, for example with the BWMC the industry is still ‘building experience’ on, while challenges are imminent on the emissions’ front. One should never forget though that dry bulk shipping has been operating in an environmentally sound, efficient and cost effective way, Dr. Gkonis concluded.
Jad Mouawad, CEO, Mouawad Consulting, referred to BWMC Implementation Challenges with respect to retrofit, supervision, installation, training and commissioning/re-commissioning of a BWMS. Currently, he noted, there is a unique opportunity for ship owners to make installations and a major problem that could arise would be related to lack of experience. The solution lies in teaching naval architects the details of BWM, teach class surveyors how to do proper surveys and approvals, follow shipyards during installations and of course, train crew. What is more, IMO has introduced Experienced Building Phase as a circular initiative to implement experiences in the regulations.
Mr. Andrew Stephens, Executive Director, Sustainable Shipping Initiative, presented the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SRTI). As explained, this new initiative aims to make ship recycling transparent; so far, eight large shipowners have voluntarily shared data on their company’s ship recycling policies and practices while all disclosing shipowners have a written policy on ship recycling for their own vessels covering issues related to the environment, labour and human rights in accordance with the Hong Kong Convention.
Panel #6 – 2020 Fuel Options
Mr. Ian Adams, Executive Director, CSA2020, briefed on the drivers behind the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 and why scrubbers are considered as a viable option to meet 2020 deadline. In this context, the association engages with the broader shipping community and general public to ensure the facts prevail over the fiction, concerns are appeased, and the many advantages EGCS offer to improve air quality are known and merited. As far it concerns the recent debate on open loop srubbers, Mr. Adams clarified that this technology is not new; it has been used for years by coastal power stations and refineries, and by oil tanker inert gas (IG) systems when in port without environmental issues.
On his turn, Mr. Steve Esau, General Manager, SEA/LNG, supported LNG as a sustainable option toward compliance with the environmental regulations. In this regard, SEA/LNG promotes LNG with real data together with academically reviewed Research Initiatives to assist owners with the decision process. The aim of the organization is to broaden the LNG knowledge base through outreach and education, Mr. Esau commented.
Concluding the forum, Mrs. Diane Gilpin, Founder/CEO, Green Shipping Alliance, talked about the Engineering & Economics of wind propulsion. As explained, wind propulsion is an economic solution considering that wind is free, abundant and exclusively available to any suitable ship equipped to harness it; predictable via digital analysis and any technology designed aims to harness maximum amount of wind. The price of wind is dependent only on technology costs, she noted. In the end, she highlighted that wind propulsion is a win-win solution because 1% total GHG emissions would be saved if every suitable ship converted to wind.
All sessions ended with a round table discussion in which the audience exchanged ideas with high level experts of international repute on technological developments. Finally, Mr. Apo Belokas as the Forum Chairman and Panel Moderator thanked the delegates for their participation, the sponsors and supporters for their support, the speakers for their excellent presentations and also the organizing team of the event for their contribution towards forum objectives. Explore more about the event at https://events.safety4sea.com/safety4sea-london-conference/