The International Maritime Organization (IMO) encourages the promotion of a common approach to investigating marine casualty and incidents. The IMO is also keen on promoting cooperation between states in identifying the factors that contribute to marine casualties.
To this end, a two-week national workshop, which started on March 13 that builds on best practices in marine casualty and marine incident investigation is ongoing in Accra.
Organized by the Ghana Maritime Authority, the workshop seeks to enhance the capacities of personnel to carry out investigations into marine casualties and incidents in accordance with the IMO Casualty Investigation Code.
According to the IMO Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa, Capt. Dallas Laryea, although the IMO recognizes the complexities associated with aligning procedures, it is important and timely to establish a robust mandatory framework for the conduct of investigations.
He said during the opening 8th session of the sub-committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments in July 2022, the IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim mentioned how in 2021 the Secretariat took several initiatives to enhance the reporting rate of maritime safety investigations.
“He felt that that a more advanced data analysis of casualty and incident data is the next milestone which could hugely benefit in identifying trends and development of risk-based recommendations to better inform IMO’s regulatory work and policy development,” Capt. Laryea touched, about the Secretary General.
The Deputy Director General in charge of Finance and Administration at the Ghana Maritime Authority, Yaw Akosa-Antwi enumerated some of the works done in Ghana in the area of marine casualty investigation.
He said the Ghana Maritime Authority in its frantic efforts towards the casualty code has collaborated with the Ghana Navy to set up committees to investigate various incidents that have unfortunately taken place over the years. Chief among these include the MV Madamfo, MV Comforter 2 and other incidents involving canoe transport accidents on the Oti and Sene Rivers.
“In all of these incidents, GMA is proud to say that committees of experts set up, took pains to identify remote causes before, towards and during the incidents and not just the immediate causes. These investigations have informed the Authority with grounded facts and figures which have been shared with IMO via the Global Integrated Shipping Information System and will form the basis for this 10-day National Training Workshop,” he indicated.