Complacency about lifeboat drills is one of the main issues that ship masters must address with their crews, according to the latest Learning Engagement Tool (LET) published by Shell’s Maritime Partners in Safety initiative in May.
This year marks five years since the inception of the LET programme, which is aimed at creating a ‘zero incident industry.’ In January, a presentation at its annual conference, in London, set out the progress it has made so far. When the programme was created in 2012, there was a serious or potentially serious incident every seven days across Shell’s network of contractors and its hundreds of owned and chartered ships and structures.
In 2016, that had came down to an average of one every 19 days, and conference delegates were set the challenge of improving that to one in 30 days.
One keen supporter of the programme is Atlantis Tankers of Turkey, which attended the conference and later posted a report on its website saying that “all Maritime Partners have identified three clear actions: leadership visits to our vessels, reflective learning training sessions on board and ashore and roll-out of the learning engagement tool.”
Four LETs are produced each year, alongside other training and supporting materials. The latest LET, which covers lifeboat operations, lists a number of issues and gives advice on processes to improve inspection and maintenance, drills and training, waterborne operations and engines and equipment.
Another member of the programme is Australia-based ASP Ship Management, which manages a diverse fleet including a large number of tankers. General manager (Singapore office) Rob Walker’s experience reflects the focus in the latest LET. He told Tanker Shipping& Trade that, like other operators, “we are always concerned about maintenance, appropriate drills, adequate training and correct operations for safe launching and in-water handling.”
In its final slide, the LET reminds the crew why lifeboat safety matters: “Remember – your family needs you,” it states. Atlantis Tankers understands that message, too. In its post-conference report, it said that its mission “is to look into the eyes of the fathers and mothers, the spouses and children of our seafarers and proudly say that their beloved son or daughter, father or mother, husband or wife is working in the safest place in the world.”
• LETs and other material can be downloaded from the Maritime Partners in Safety website via bit.ly/MPinSafety.