Seafarers, technology must work seamlessly to keep vessels safe

Adriani Sunuddin, M.Si, lecturer and marine and fisheries researcher, IPB University, in an interview October 12 with Maritime Fairtrade, said when it comes to shipping safety, technology matters and there should be no negligence in using technology. The relevant crew members must have proper training and be diligent in using the technology to ensure safety.

In the recent case of KM Glory Mary, a passenger ship sailing in Talaud waters, North Sulawesi, the first officer, Junimus Sirape (53), was found negligent when the ship ran into underwater reef in shallow waters. The accident happened when he left the ship unattended momentarily to go to the toilet. The police found both the ship and all equipment in working conditions, and the technology was there to help navigation and detection.

In another example of human error, in early October a Viking river cruise ship heading north up the Mississippi River ran into low-water trouble.

Sunuddin emphasized technology is there to help the crew members but they must be vigilant and have the right attitude. For example, in the era of digitalization, digital maps are more practical and will contribute to a safety culture.  As such, IMO and UKHO have initiated the use of electronic nautical charts and electronic chart display for implementation by 2026. UKHO (United Kingdom Hydrographic Office), which publishes the Admiralty Map, plans to stop the issuing of paper maps. 

He added the training of seafarers must keep up with the advances of technology. As vessels are now equipped with more and more hi-tech tools, maritime education providers, the government and other stakeholders must work together to ensure seafarers and technology must complement each other to safeguard lives and the safety of the vessel.

Photo credit: Prexels/ Ibrahim Boran

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