AGCS Report: 2012 Maritime Losses Increase 17%

According to the 2012 "Safety and Shipping Review" compiled by marine insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), maritime losses increased by approximately 17% for the year. In fact, there were 106 reported losses worldwide in 2012 compared to 91 in 2011.

Even though the report shows an increase in the number of reported losses for 2012, there is a continuing downward trend in major incidents. Over the 10 years between 2001 and 2011, the average number of losses has been 146 per year.

Topping the list for 2012 was the Costa Concordia disaster that occurred on January 13, 2012, off the coast of Italy. This major cruise ship disaster occurred when its captain attempted an unscheduled maneuver close to shore for local bystanders and struck a reef. There were over 4,000 people onboard, including 1,000 crew members. The tragic result was the loss of life for 32 passengers and nearly 100 injuries.

The sinking of the Rabaul Queen ferry on February 2, 2012 is an example of another disaster that happened during the year. The cause of that tragedy was an ominous combination of rough seas, overloading the vessel (the ferry was carrying 390 passengers and its maximum capacity was listed at 295), and improper maintenance. Sadly, over 140 people lost their lives.

Nearly two-thirds of the commercial shipping losses occurred in four maritime regions: South China, Indo China, Indonesia and the Philippines. This is primarily due to the concentration of commercial shipping in those regions. In the vast majority of the maritime losses, human error is to blame. Almost 50% of all losses in 2012 were caused by foundering, that is the sinking or submerging of a vessel. Wrecking or running aground accounted for 22% of the total. Interestingly, collisions between vessels caused only a slight number (6%) of 106 reported losses.

Reports such as the "Safety and Shipping Review" showing an overall downward trend in maritime losses is good news. This illustrates that the industry is continually working to develop more safety initiatives/regulations for the safety of maritime workers and passengers on ferries and cruise ships. However, this does not remove the remorse felt for all of those who were injured or died at sea.

There are different laws that apply for the recovery of damages for ferry passengers, cruise ship passengers, seamen and others who are injured or families who have lost loved ones at sea. There is a completely different system for bringing those claims to court and specific limitations that must not be ignored.

For example, most cruise ship passengers are required to provide the cruise line owner with written notice detailing any potential claims for injury or death within six months of the occurrence. This is a prerequisite to the filing of any lawsuit and part of the terms and conditions of the ticket contract. As unfair as this might sound, the notice requirement has generally been up held in our judicial system.

If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one who was a commercial fisherman, tug worker, merchant seaman or a cruise ship passenger, you need to talk to a Seattle attorney experienced in handling maritime cases nationwide.

John Merriam & Gordon Webb has offices close to Puget Sound. We have over 50 years of experience handling Jones Act and maritime injury cases nationwide, including the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. However and where ever you were injured, we can help to maximize your recovery.

Contact us online or call our toll free number at 877.800.1007 for a no obligation consultation.

With our firm, you will never owe us a fee unless we get you a settlement.

Other Resources:

AGCS Safety and Shipping Review 2013, Press Release, London, January 8, 2013

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