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Enforce minimum mandatory experience standards now, urges Rajvanshy

Enforce minimum mandatory experience standards now, urges Rajvanshy

Hong Kong: A leading shipmanager is calling for minimum mandatory experience requirements. Kishore Rajvanshy, the md of Hong Kong-based Fleet Management, told Seatrade that he is pushing the IMO and other bodies to make sure that the current officer shortage does not continue to bring safety standards down. This can only be done, he said, by legislating for proper service time onboard before seafarers can climb the ranks. 'Quick promotions, rising salaries, shorter contracts for seafarers have contrasted poorly with increased insurance costs, depreciating asset values and environmental disasters,' said Rajvanshy. 'Clearly the balance the industry strives to achieve has eluded it.'
The shipmanager said that data from insurance companies suggests between 70 and 80% of accidents at sea take place because of the human element. While tankers are vetted by oil majors and criteria includes staff experience, no other sector faces the same scrutiny. "It would do wonders for the universal cause of maritime saftety,' said Rajvanshy, 'if the IMO and honourary Flag states could inculate more rigid experience standards in the STCW convention on similar lines for a wider range of ship types.'
Enforce these "Mandatory Experience Standards" now, he urged, 'rather than in hindsight before this inevitable change is forced upon by another disaster.'  [05/05/09]

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