Examining Shipping’s Imponderables
Our industry’s worst nightmare. A ship laden and carrying a large quantity of bunker fuel deviates off course and founders on an ocean reef in a pristine, UNESCO protected area of in an isolated region. 4000 tons of fuel and 1000 tons of cargo are released and the ship breaks in half. Unknown is why the ship breached the 10-mile limit around the coast, with some speculation that there was a birthday celebration and the crew wanted better WiFi service.
How an accident like this could happen in 2020 is one of shipping’s imponderables. Where was the digital navigation system warning the master the ship was off course? What about domain- awareness technology that sounds the alarm that the ship is approaching shallow waters? Was shoreside staff monitoring the movements of the ship and noted its deviation (think Costa Concordia)?
Many of these answers will come to light in the next few months. Of immediate concern is remediation and removal of the wreck and restoration of the surrounding area. But how does shipping answer the question posed above? How do we explain that such an accident can still occur—anywhere—in our advanced world?
We need to address the imponderables, the improbables and the impossibles.
“See” you in October for SHIPPINGInsight 20/20!
Carleen Lyden Walker
Chief Evolution Officer