On Wednesday, September 30th, HELMEPA presented online the “Voluntary Incident Reporting Platform – VIRP” to representatives of the Association’s managing Member companies.
The platform was developed in collaboration with Corporate Associate Member DYNAMARINe as part of the three-year project titled “Enhancing the Understanding of New and Enduring Challenges in Maritime Safety Culture in the Eastern Mediterranean“, which is implemented by HELMEPA and Lloyd’s Register in Greece and CYMEPA in Cyprus, with the support of Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) *.
The aim of the initiative is for shipping companies to report, under complete anonymity, to the platform incidents and near-misses from their ships that could have very serious consequences (High Potential Incidents) and through the sharing of lessons learned, avoid the repetition of the same mistakes and incidents. The expansion of the platform in the coming years is planned to include accidents and incidents of fishing vessels and recreational boats.
Welcoming the guests online, HELMEPA’s Director General, Mr. Dimitris Mitsatsos, referred to the importance of incident reporting in establishing a maritime safety culture and thanked the Project partners for their cooperation, LRF for their support and HELMEPA Members for their contribution and participation in the VIRP from hereon. Also attending the presentation was the Chairperson of HELMEPA, Mrs. Semiramis Paliou, who, in her intervention, urged Members to continue to contribute data to the platform so that it can become a useful tool for all and help attract more Member companies.
On behalf of Mr. Theodosis Stamatellos, Lloyd’s Register Marine & Offshore Regional Manager for South Europe, LR’s representative Ms Anastasia Kouvertaris expressed the organization’s satisfaction for the set-up of the VIRP, which may help prevent future marine accidents and underlined the strategic importance of the participation in the Project of the maritime community of Cyprus, through CYMEPA.
Dr. Stelios Perissakis, Director of DYNAMARINe, presented the operation and benefits of the platform to the representatives of Member companies, who expressed their interest and suggested ideas to strengthen the initiative. When asked by a representative about the possibility of wider participation of shipping companies in the VIRP, HELMEPA’s Director General stated that at this stage the platform is offered as a service exclusively to the Association’s Members, who have continued to support HELMEPA voluntarily for the past 38 years.
In the set-up of VIRP, valuable was the contribution of the following managing Member companies, who shared data and reports of incidents and near-misses as well as HELMEPA’s Steering Committee that approved the system’s specifications:
- AEGEAN BULK CO INC
- ATLANTIC BULK CARRIERS MANAGEMENT LTD.
- ARCADIA SHIPMANAGEMENT CO. LTD
- CHANDRIS (HELLAS) INC.
- COSTAMARE SHIPPING COMPANY SA
- DIANA SHIPPING SERVICES SA
- EURONAV SHIP MANAGEMENT HELLAS LTD.
- MINOA MARINE LTD
The online presentation was brought to a close by Mr. Mitsatsos, who expressed the wish that all HELMEPA Members embrace the initiative, so that the Voluntary Incident Reporting Platform constitutes a useful tool towards preventing marine accidents and protecting human life at sea.