Advancements in maritime technology - although designed to enhance safety, environmental protection, working conditions and efficiency - come with many unchartered challenges. Recently, several legal issues surrounding these new technologies have rapidly changed how maritime casualties are investigated and how evidence is gathered.
So, What’s The Big Deal?
Some of these issues involve crewmembers who are unable to operate equipment as intended and/or are unaware of critical features of the equipment. In addition to the other safety system shortcomings, insufficient training is often the culprit.Recent cases have been attributed to mariners’ failure to use advanced technologies that could have helped prevent a casualty, while other situations were the result of improperly installed or malfunctioning equipment. In today’s marine industry, failure to properly install and use available technology intended to avoid a casualty can easily increase the mariners' and vessel owners' risk of liability.
How Can We Protect Ourselves?
Adverse effects can be reduced by mariners embracing the new technologies and, as importantly, by vessel owners providing effective training to ensure equipment is being used as intended, and that their mariners’ skills keep up with advancing technology. By doing so, conscientious vessel owners and mariners put themselves in the best position to protect against any resulting liability.
Since 1935, MOPS has protected the licenses and livelihoods of more than 80,000 deck and engineering officers, state and federal pilots and certified tankermen.
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