LR and HELMEPA (Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Authority) have marked the 1000th incident registered on their Virtual Incident Reporting Platform (VIRP) with a ceremony at the Posidonia 2022 exhibition.
HELMEPA’s VIRP allows shipping companies to anonymously report accidents, incidents and near-misses on board their ships, strengthening maritime safety culture and helping the industry learn from ‘High Potential Incidents’ which can cause danger to life and property.
The milestone marks a shift in safety culture in the Eastern Mediterranean as HELMEPA celebrates the 40th anniversary of its founding.
Funded by Lloyds Register Foundation, this HELMEPA project works to improve safety at sea by enhancing the understanding of new and enduring challenges in maritime safety in the Eastern Mediterranean. The area is one of the global hotspots for marine accidents and incidents and, because an estimated 75% to 96% of these events are still attributed to human error, the need for a fully implemented safety culture is still an issue of major concern for the shipping industry and maritime stakeholders.
The Foundation’s grant to help improve safety in the region has so far helped enhance the sharing of critical information and ‘lessons learned’ among HELMEPA’s membership through the launch of the VIRP, while also sponsoring training programmes and simulation seminars for seafarers and shipping professionals, workshops and a wide Stay-Safe-at-Sea campaign for the fishing and pleasure craft sectors.
Working in partnership with Lloyd’s Register and Lloyd’s Register Foundation, information on HELMEPA’s project’s aims and activities has been received by an estimated 180,000 maritime professionals, boaters and coastal inhabitants across Greece and Cyprus, helping to strengthen a culture of safety among seafarers, the shipping industry and marine communities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Philippa Charlton, Chief Marketing Officer, Lloyd’s Register, said:
"Working together for a safer world is the purpose that drives us at LR. This is why we are proud to collaborate with HELMEPA and celebrate the strong culture of safety the Virtual Incident Reporting Platform (VIRP) has fostered. Seeing the tangible results of our partnership is a tribute to the fantastic work that HELMEPA do in the Eastern Mediterranean region to improve maritime safety."
Dr Tim Slingsby, Director of Skills and Education, Lloyd’s Register Foundation, said:
"Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of people who live and work at sea is central to Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s purpose as a global charity. We’re incredibly proud to partner with HELMEPA and to be part of its pioneering work in the Eastern Mediterranean. In addition, the relationship between HELMEPA and our trading partner Lloyd’s Register is yet more evidence of our shared objective to engineer a safer world."
Ms Olga Stavropoulou, Director General of HELMEPA, said:
"Nurturing a maritime safety culture is essential for the well-being of hundreds of thousands of seafarers as well as the port, fishing and boating communities of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to the valuable and continuing support of our Associate Member LR as well as Lloyd’s Register Foundation we have achieved to engage, inform and train approximately 2,000 seafarers and shipping professionals, fishermen and boaters in Greece and Cyprus, along with our project partners CYMEPA and Dynamarine, making an impact on the protection of human life at sea."