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Friday, July 19, 2019 

The UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has published its 2018 report, in which it highlights the fact that during the year 1227 accidents were reported, of which 23 warranted full investigation - five of these within four days of the month of December alone.

The MAIB's Chief Inspector Capt Andrew Moll attributes this peak to unusually heavy weather at the time, but highlights the fact that no UK merchant ships of >100gt were lost, with the overall accident rate for this class of vessel showing a significant decrease. Although there was no loss of life to crew or passengers on UK ships >100gt, in two incidents there were crew fatalities onboard foreign flag vessels in UK ports.

Fishing remained the most dangerous occupation in the UK, eight commercial fishing vessels being lost in the year with six fatalities. As usual, this raises concern, despite the loss rate remaining low at just 0.14% of the fleet. Capt Moll has identified vessel stability and lifejacket wear as particular areas where improvements have been needed.

Looking at the causes of incidents involving merchant vessels >100gt, the report noted four groundings and five collisions, and identified an increase in catastrophic failures of propulsion machinery. However, Capt Moll takes heart that manufacturers, operators, regulators and Class have all collaborated with MAIB to identify the underlying safety issues.

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