COVID-19, a Direct Impact on Maritime Safety
On April 26th, because of the COVID-19 crisis, a cargo ship grounded on a beach of Tamatave, north-east of Madagascar.
Even if the weather was poor, the event occured because of the ship’s bad condition. Actually, its chains broke while it was at anchor.
The cargo “Hassina” used to transport goods from Tamatave to Nosy Be.
But because of the COVID-19 crisis, the owner could’t afford to dock the vessel in the harbour of Tamatave any more. So he decided for over a year to leave at anchor the cargo ship without shelter.
Since the beginning of the health crisis, an increase of maritime accidents is reported.
An annual Alliance Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) study has identified various consequences of the covid-19 epidemic on the maritime sector. Some of them have a direct impact on maritime safety :
– Budget restriction, leading to disruptions in essential maintenance and servicing operations. It increases the risk of machinery breakdown.
– Difficulties for the personnal. The closure of borders and ports in many countries made crew changeover more complex. Some seamen have been trapped on ships for months or even a year. Leading to poor psychological well-being, which increase human errors.
All these factors have a impact on maritime safety and therefore a potentially ecological risk.
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