The insurance company Allianz said 106 ships were lost worldwide in the 12-month period ending Nov. 25 2012, up from 91 ships the previous year but a 27 percent decrease on the 10-year average of 146 ships per annum.
Releasing its annual Safety and Shipping Review
marine insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) said despite a downward trend in losses "driven by
technology, training and regulation and a proactive response from the
shipping industry to safety improvement, human error remains the core
Sven Gerhard of AGCS said “For some commercial ship-owners,
especially in the hard-pressed bulk cargo and tanker sectors, there is
little money for maintenance and little money for training.”
The insurer noted 2012 was marked by two high profile accidents, namely the loss of the Costa Concordia
off Italy on Jan. 13 with 32 fatalities and the ferry Rabaul Queen
off Papua New Guinea on Feb. 2 with more than 110 deaths.
According to the report, foundering (sinking or submerging) was the most common cause of losses (49 percent) in the past year, followed by wrecking or running aground (22 percent). Collisions, such as those involving the Baltic Ace
and Corvus J
in early December 2012, accounted for a relatively small number of losses (6 percent).
With 30 losses reported, twice as many shipping accidents centered on the seas around South China, Indo-China, Indonesia and the Philippines. Shipping losses also occurred more often in the East Mediterranean and the Black Sea (15 losses in 2012) or around Japan, Korea and North China (10 losses).
Allianz noted that "New regulation focuses on the problem of human error. The Maritime Labor Convention (2006), which comes into force later in 2013, will help improve safety by addressing the welfare and working conditions of seafarers. In general, passenger vessels have been the focus of attention throughout the year with both the International Maritime Organization and the cruise ship industry taking action to tighten regulation and continuously improve operational practices." - Chris Dupin