MANILA, PHILIPPINES — To enhance the approaches in uncovering the causes of maritime accidents and consequently prevent future occurrences, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) hosted the ten-day Regional Training Course on the implementation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Casualty Investigation Code in Manila on 05-16 November 2018.

MARINA OIC Vice-Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr. welcomed foreign and local maritime professionals participating in the training and encouraged them to make the most out of the learning experience for the promotion of safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment.

“Through this ten-day training, our objective is to be mutually enlightened and to have a uniform understanding and application on the provision of the Casualty Investigation Code. Therefore, we will be better equipped with the understanding on the occurrences and causes of the maritime casualties, to prevent losses of lives and property at sea and to have a unified approach in conducting maritime safety investigations,” Vice-Admiral Vingson said.

Moreover, Atty. Josephine Marie Uranza of the IMO Coordinator for the Regional Presence for East Asia explained the technical assistance that the IMO is willing to extend to its member states and the importance of marine casualty investigation in determining the root causes of accidents, rather than apportion blame or liability, for the enhancement of maritime safety policies.

IMO speakers and experts on marine casualty investigation Capt. Michael Squires and Mr. Atilla Piralioglu shared their knowledge and expertise on the improvement of maritime practices for casualty investigation through in-depth discussions on the provisions of the Casualty Investigation Code, analysis of different case studies, global issues and concerns, as well as the identification of the contributing factors of maritime accidents.

According to Capt. Squires, safety investigation, as intended by the IMO, is a process of systematic search to uncover the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of a maritime accident/incident.

“To properly conduct casualty investigations, one needs sufficient motivation, training, experience, and clear knowledge on safety legislations,” Captain Squires shared.

Meanwhile, thirty (30) maritime professionals from the ten (10) member states of the IMO from the Philippines, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Timor Leste, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Maldives, Iran, Sri Lanka, and China are provided with opportunities to exchange views and ideas through group exercises on “the code”.

At the end of the training course, the participants are expected to identify and apply the techniques on conducting effective marine accident investigation and analysis, show the process of a casualty investigation, cooperate among flag states in the investigation of marine accidents, understand the duties and obligations of member states under IMO conventions, assist other member states in the implementation of instruments of the IMO, and share the lessons acquired by reporting to the IMO database.