The FerrySafe project team will be carrying out one-hour meetings with various stakeholders to learn how fatal incidents have been reduced to almost zero in recent years from a peak of 1,001 deaths in 2008.

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The informal talks are taking place throughout the week at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel after invitations to shipowners, operators, regulators, naval architects, shipyards, classification societies, surveyors, insurers, the coastguard authority, tourism agencies, customers and media commentators.

A second round of dialogue will take place during summer, with visits to shipyards and operators in the Cebu area.

The FerrySafe project was conceived by the association’s Domestic Safety Committee and is supported by a £40,000 grant from UK charity the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, which supports safety, education and research in transport and engineering. The grant covers all direct expenses of the project, while team members are contributing man-hours worth an additional £30,000.

Preliminary findings from the two visits will be presented at Interferry’s 44th annual conference in London in October and the final report is expected by the end of the year. The communication of the results to other developing nations will be done mainly through the association’s involvement with the ongoing ASEAN Regional Forum on ferry safety and through its consultative status at the IMO.

The ambition is to take the findings from our Philippines research to other countries and facilitate their implementation. This will require additional external funding and cooperation. The largest improvement potential is found in SE Asia and Africa, but – apart from the funding – we would need political support from the respective countries as well as the IMO

Interferry Regulatory Affairs Director, Johan Roos, said.