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Swedish Club provides latest insight into Navigational Claims

Lars A. Malm director strategic business development & client relations, The Swedish Club Lars A. Malm director strategic business development & client relations, The Swedish Club

The Swedish Club has launched a new edition of Navigational Claims, which aims to provide an insight into the causes of maritime incidents and environmental damage, which are often attributed to navigational error.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"} The Swedish Club’s Loss Prevention team has reviewed its claims history, using its comprehensive bank of statistics to publish an insight into the latest trends, provide detailed case studies, highlight relevant International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS), and share commentary from a qualified pilot with first-hand experience of issues during port transit.

With navigational errors contributing to almost a third of the Club’s H&M claims portfolio, Lars A. Malm, director strategic business development & client relations at The Swedish Club, is in no doubt as to the seriousness of these incidents: “Collisions, contact, groundings – even the loss of the Costa Concordia, the most expensive marine insurance claim in history, and a tragic loss of life - was due to navigational error,” he said. 

“We have seen, and continue to see, that many such incidents are caused by ‘the human element’ - individuals and teams making serious misjudgements in situations that could not be described as extreme.”

Navigational Claims highlights the following:

  • Container vessels are top of the league for collisions and contact claims and are responsible for about 37 per cent of the collision claims and 42 per cent of the contact claims that the Club sees. They have double the frequency of contacts and collisions than bulkers, often carrying out manoeuvres close to the berth at high speed. The most expensive claims occur when a vessel hits a gantry crane or the quay at high speed.
  • Frequency of collision is highest on RoRos, and frequency of contact highest on passenger ferries. Most of these incidents happen within the port area - RoRo vessels mostly trade short distances between specific ports, which means that they have more port calls than the more conventional merchant vessels.
  • Bulk vessels have the greatest frequency of groundings which may be because they may trade in more difficult conditions, often loading ore and other material which can be sourced from a remote island or port.
  • Despite the fact that the pilot joins the vessel to increase safety, it can also be seen that more than half (55 per cent) of all navigational claims occur when the pilot is on board.

Whilst the causes of such incidents may seem diverse, the loss prevention advice is very clear:

“The causes are numerous," stated Mr Malm. "Many can be prevented by efficient communication, planning, and understanding the limitations and risks with the navigational equipment. Often officers have very different backgrounds, experience and knowledge. It is also common that the bridge team does not work in harmony. We hope that Navigational Claims will highlight some of the common problem areas and raise awareness of the steps that can be taken to overcome them.”

Click here to view the Navigational Claims publication. {/mprestriction}

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    “One of the most time-consuming tasks onboard is preparing port documentation,” said Captain Pradeep Chawla, managing director, QHSE and training at Anglo-Eastern. “We have brought in Navigator Port to reduce the administrative burden and ensure quality of the reporting. This is especially important on ships where the port of call is not known well in advance.”

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    Navigator Port facilitates compliance with requirements from charterers and port authorities. Approximately 1,400 port clearance forms are automatically filled in with ship data, so the required paperwork can be prepared in a few minutes. The system reports directly to maritime authorities, such as the Electronic Notice of Arrival/Departure (eNOAD) to the United States Coast Guard, and the Electronic Pre-Arrival Notification (ePAN) to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

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    “We’re very pleased about the successful implementation of Navigator Port across the Anglo-Eastern fleet. Navigator Port makes it easier for the crew to report accurately and efficiently, which ultimately means that they can focus on their primary responsibility: safe and sound navigation,”  said Kenneth Vareide, CEO of DNV GL – Digital Solutions. 

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Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


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