In its transportation statistics 2020, TSB Canada recorded a total of 262 marine accidents (resulting directly from the operation of a ship), down from the 2019 total of 267 and below the 10-year average of 289. In 2020, the proportion of shipping accidents was 84% of marine accidents, comparable to the previous 10-year average of 82%.
n 2020, 18 marine fatalities were reported, up from the 17 fatalities reported in 2019, and above the annual average of 15.4 in the 2010–2019 time period. Of the 18 fatalities in 2020, 12 were the result of four shipping accidents, while the remaining six fatalities resulted from five accidents aboard ship.
All of the 12 shipping accident fatalities in 2020 involved commercial fishing vessels, highlighting the need to improve commercial fishing safety, an outstanding issue on the TSB Watchlist.
There were 219 shipping accidents in 2020, up from the 2019 total of 207 but down 8% from the 2010–2019 average of 238. The majority of shipping accidents involved fishing vessels (33%), followed by solid cargo vessels (26%).
In 2020, there were 43 accidents aboard ship, down from 60 in 2019 and down from the 2010–2019 average of 51. The majority of accidents aboard ship occurred on cargo vessels (35%) and fishing vessels (35%).
In 2020, 18 marine fatalities were reported, up from the 17 fatalities reported in 2019, and above the annual average of 15.4 in the 2010–2019 time period. Of the 18 fatalities in 2020, 12 were the result of 4 shipping accidents, while the remaining 6 fatalities resulted from 5 accidents aboard ship.
Of note, all of the 12 shipping accident fatalities in 2020 involved commercial fishing vessels, and 4 of the 6 fatalities that ensued from accidents aboard ship occurred aboard commercial fishing vessels. These data indicate that more needs to be done to improve safety in the commercial fishing industry.
Serious injuries in 2020 totaled 41, down from 53 in 2019 and down from the annual average of 50 from 2010 to 2019. 39 of the 41 serious injuries (95%) resulted from accidents aboard ship, and the remaining 2 resulted from shipping accidents.
Definition of shipping accident
- sinks, founders or capsizes,
- is involved in a collision (includes strikings and contacts)
- sustains a fire or an explosion,
- goes aground,
- sustains damage that affects its seaworthiness or renders it unfit for its purpose,
- is missing or abandoned
-Type of accident
- The most frequent types of shipping accidents in 2020 were collision (43%), grounding (21%), and fire/explosion (16%).
- The total number of collisions (95) was 21% more than the 10-year (2010–2019) average of 79, the number of groundings (47) was 28% below the 10-year average of 65, and the number of fire/explosion accidents (36) was 4% below the 10-year average of 37.
-Type of vessel
75 fishing vessels were involved in shipping accidents, up from 59 in 2019, but down from the 2010–2019 average of 87. Fishing vessels represented almost one-third (30%) of all vessels involved in shipping accidents.
- In 2020, 13 vessels were reported lost, up from 8 in 2019 but down from the 2010–2019 average of 19.
- 11 of the 13 vessels lost in 2020 were fishing vessels.
- 8 of the 13 vessels lost were less than 15 GT (including 1 with unknown tonnage).
- In the past 10 years (2011 to 2020), fishing vessels under 60 GT have accounted for 62% of Canadian vessels lost.