MERT Worldwide – Two Ships Collide

MERT Worldwide – Coaching, Simulation, Role Play, Performance Based Training

2013 has seen several Maritime Accidents and some very serious incidents resulting in loss of life.  There are as many excuses why but, the purpose of the post is to provide training solutions to these preventable events.

Training – I like to refer to it as coaching because as a trainer we are developing skills or applying new skills to be competent at a certain task. Coaching is a good training tool. When used correctly it means empowering your crew to improve on their skill and strengths.  Good coaching gives crew members the confidence to complete tasks safely. Simulation and Role Play, combined with Coaching is a powerful training technique. These excellent coaching tools are used to practice individual and team skills and also a complete check of emergency management processes.

Performance Based training supported by coaching, role play and simulation is quality training that empowers all involved to improve their skill level.  This training also offers a ‘safety culture’ health check on board.  If crew members had the opportunity to complete this type of sea safety training on board every eighteen to twenty four months, would we see a reduction in reported Maritime Safety Events? The answer must be yes, the industry cannot continue without trying an innovative approach to improving training and the safety culture on board.

The video clip with this article is very current (March 2013).  It happens in one of the worlds busiest shipping lanes (Singapore). Its like driving a ship on a twelve lane highway.

There were however many rules that were broken BUT, how does such a incident happen in 2013?  Why did it happen?  Will ship owners, insurers, ship managers, masters tolerate such actions?  Will there be some form of accountability for crew members responsible for this incident?  If you had a vested interest in either ship, its cargo and crew (Shareholders and investors) wouldn’t you want answers too?  What about the potential hazard and risk to the environment?  There are so many questions that need to be answered but we also need to consider the possible risks of such actions.  Now how do we mitigate against such action ever happening again?

I like many people would have watched this video clip with amazement. The simple answer as to why it happened yet again is because the safety culture on board both vessels would be describe by myself as poor.  A crew member on either of the ships was in a position to stop this happening.  The solution or cure for a poor safety culture and one way to address this and many other incidents is provide quality training that supports a better safety culture than that being viewed in the video clip.

MERT Coaching, Simulation, Role Play combined with Performance Based Training provides seafarers with a quality maritime emergency response training package. All training is practically assessed, which offers MERT a tool to measure training quality against. This tool also offers owners, insurers, ship managers, masters and crew a snap shot of their crews ability to safely manage and react to a ship emergency. At the same time MERT training provides a ‘Health Check’ of the ships ‘Safety Culture’ and if necessary administers the medicine necessary to keep the safety culture healthy.

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