There was great interest in SAN’s annual work environment conference in Gothenburg on 24 October. The theme for the day was When an accident has happened and the audience heard detailed descriptions of much noted accidents, emergency response plans, ongoing regulatory changes and much more.
The strongest and most personal speech was held by the journalist and author, Jan Mosander. He was on board the cruise ship Costa Concordia when she sank in January 2012 and he described how he, as a passenger, experienced the disaster in which 32 people lost their lives. Speakers from Stena Line (Matserik Eriksson) and Destination Gotland (Nils Nordström) spoke about the need to be well prepared in the event of accidents. Matserik noted that in a crisis situation, it is mainly a question of meeting people’s most basic needs of warmth, food and water. Nils told us about lessons that the company learned from the accident in 2009: amongst other things, the life-jackets have been re-located on board and a cash-card telephone has been purchased to guarantee an open line to the ships’ bridges in an emergency situation.
Cecilia Österman, researcher at Linnaeus University, spoke of over-confidence regarding how much students can learn during training and the necessity of safety drills. Train, train and train again was her message. Erik Eklund from the Transport Agency talked about ongoing changes to international regulations. He described how development progresses from detailed regulations towards more functional and targeted regulations.
More in-depth picture
Joakim Enström, from the marine insurance company The Swedish Club, talked figures and statistics, while maritime safety expert Eric Wahren gave an in-depth picture of why accidents happen. He believed that the industry must work harder to get away from inhumane and repressive scapegoat-thinking. Wallenius Marine’s DP, Peter Jodin, was also there. He talked about the company’s emergency response plan in the event of a pirate attack or hijacking. The day was rounded off nicely with a mingle buffet.