AGCS Safety at Sea. Losses by type of vessel 2007-2016

Cargo vessels (41%) and fishing vessels (17%) accounted for almost 60% of the 1,186 losses over the past decade, according to the just-released Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) annual “Safety at Sea” review.

The only other types of vessel with more than 50 total losses during that period were bulk carriers (98), passenger (68), tug (65) and chemical/product (59).

There were dramatic improvements year on year for fishery (down to nine from 15) and bulk (down to four from 11).

The only types of vessel with a significant number of total losses that appeared not to have improved their average over the decade were:

passenger (average 6.8 a year, last three years 10, 7, 8);

tug (average over past decade 6.5, last three years 7, 6, 7);

Ro-Ro (average over last 10 years 4.9, last three years 5, 6, 8).

Of the lower loss categories, containers averaged 3.9 a year, with losses of 4, 5 and 3 in the past three years. The data are absolute, so do not take into account the number of vessels, weight of vessels or loss per mile travelled.

AGCS said that the tanker industry had “made great strides in safety in recent years, enjoying an extended period of benign loss activity”. The insurer noted that it had been excellent at pursuing self-regulation and maintaining high standards. “Coastal passenger, cargo and fishing vessels could learn from its safety culture, benefiting from a more proactive approach to investment in safety management systems, training and spare parts”, AGCS said.

Cargo vessels accounted for over a third of vessels lost during 2016, although activity was down year-on-year. Passenger ferry losses were up year-on-year (8), driven by activity in South East Asia and the Mediterranean. An unusual loss was the 17,042 GT Ocean Dream. The cruise ship had been anchored and abandoned by its Chinese owner for over a year before it capsized off the coast of Thailand.