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New report calls for data sharing to improve maritime safety

Distress calls dropped by 7.6% in 2023. (Image source: Inmarsat)


The 2024 edition of The Future of Maritime Safety Report from Inmarsat Maritime calls for the maritime industry to embrace data sharing and collaborative problem-solving as the industry navigates significant changes, such as the transition to greener propulsion technologies

The report recommends that the shipping industry establishes a list of standard data points to monitor and report, including casualties and incidents, injuries or deaths at sea, and near misses. It also endorses trend analysis to support the development of safety measures, with a particular emphasis on developing risk treatments for well-known and recurring issues.

The report reveals that Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) distress calls decreased by 7.6% in 2023 over the previous year. Despite this decline, the service was still triggered on 788 occasions, underlining the ongoing challenges in maritime safety and the need for improvements. It highlights the emergence of potential new safety risks associated with future fuels, and escalating geopolitical tensions.

Identifying trends

Peter Broadhurst, senior vice president, Safety and Regulatory, Inmarsat Maritime, said, “By harnessing the power of anonymised safety data, we can identify trends, develop specific mitigation measures, and enhance the overall safety of our ships and crews."

He noted that modern technology offers unprecedented opportunities to improve safety through better data analysis and sharing.

“We collect vast amounts of safety data, yet the current siloed-working model hinders our ability to fully leverage the actionable insights available to us. By pooling data, we can create a more holistic and objective view of maritime safety to inform performance improvements and ultimately reduce the occurrence of preventable safety incidents to save lives at sea.”