“Enhancing Maritime Safety Culture”
The first of 10 Safety-At-Sea Workshops of the three year-long Project titled “Enhancing the Understanding of New and Enduring Challenges in Maritime Safety Culture in the East Mediterranean” took place on Monday 11 November, at the “Dimitris Bogris” Auditorium of the Town Hall of Salamina Island.
The Project, which is supported by Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF)*, is being implemented by HELMEPA, between 2019 and 2022, in Greece and Cyprus, in cooperation with CYMEPA.
The Workshop was organized by HELMEPA in cooperation with the Vourkari Sailing Club, under the auspices of the Municipality of Salamina and was attended by representatives of local stakeholders and individual mariners.
The event was saluted by the Vice-Prefect for Islands of the Region of Attica Ms V. Theodorakopoulou-Bogri, the Mayor of Salamina Mr G. Panagopoulos, the representatives of the Hellenic Navy Chief of Fleet, Deputy Commander RADM J. Drymoussis and of the Hellenic Coast Guard Commander, Port Captain of Salamina Lieutenant Commander Ant. Manoussos, the Chairman of Vourkari Sailing Club Mr. G. Genikaliotis and the Chairman of the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association (HPYOA), Mr. A. Steliatos.
The Vice Prefect, the Mayor of Salamina and the Chairman of Vourkari Sailing Club thanked HELMEPA and LRF for their initiative stressing the importance of maritime safety for their region and its residents, who depend on the sea. The Deputy Commander of the Fleet and the representative of the HCG Commander referred to the long-standing cooperation of the Hellenic Navy and the Hellenic Coast Guard with HELMEPA respectively, while the Chairman of HPYOA spoke about the importance and prospects of sea tourism in Greece committing to project the Project’s message to the thousands of professional yachts-members of his Association.
The aims and tools of the Project were presented on behalf of HELMEPA by Mr. C. Triantafillou, highlighting the valuable cooperation and contribution of partners Hellenic Lloyd’s and DYNAMARINe, Associate Corporate Members of HELMEPA in Greece and CYMEPA in Cyprus.
Mr L. Makris, Inspector of Yachts & Small Crafts of Hellenic Lloyd’s spoke about the substantial relation between personal attitude and prevention of accidents at sea, while Dr N. Mazarakis, Professor of Marine Meteorology offered participants practical advice on how to avoid dangerous weather with a focus on squalls.
The Workshop’s program came to a close with the presentation of two HCG Officers of the Hellenic Bureau for Marine Casualties Investigation (HBMCI) C. Moutzouvis and I. Nicolaou on the role of HBMCI and lessons learned so far from the investigation and study of real incidents involving small vessels and crafts in Greece.
The presentations and the ensuing discussion highlighted certain important factors contributing to marine accidents also on small vessels, with the main one being the human element and the lack of adherence to basic safety principles and rules. The importance of the fishing and pleasure crafts sectors reporting ‘near miss’ incidents to HELMEPA’s Vessels’ Incident Reporting Platform-VIRP, currently under construction, was also stressed. The aim of VIRP is to create a ‘data bank’ that will be used to avoid marine accidents through the sharing of experience offered voluntarily by each mariner wishing to contribute to the safety of his fellow mariners and passengers on board vessels.
The Workshop’s participants committed to act as “Safety Ambassadors” thus promoting and projecting the Project’s message and results to their colleagues.
The next Safety-At-Sea Workshop will take place on Monday 25 November 2019, in Limassol, Cyprus.
(*) ‘A charitable Foundation, helping to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and application of research, www.lrfoundation.org.uk/’