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Marine safety in Indonesian waters and some insights gained from the European experience

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Richard Birmingham, Dr Hossein Enshaei


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Indonesia is one of the largest archipelago countries in the world in which two thirds of its territories consist of sea areas with nearly 18,000 islands and a coast line 81,000 km long. It has a population of two hundred million people. Consequently sea transportation plays a very important role in this nation’s development, complementing the land and air modes of transportation. Many types of sea transportation operate in Indonesian waters carrying people and cargo between the islands, and harvesting the natural marine resources. As with other modes of transport the marine infrastructure in Indonesia is continually developing. This is the result of growing economic activity and with this growth an increase in socio-cultural community activities. In addition changes in the national regulation of transportation has led to an increase in all transport activity, but for the marine sector a consequence of this increase is that their has also been an increase in the incidence of marine casualties. Bad weather is inevitably more likely to result in a casualty if the vessels involved have inadequate seaworthiness and are overloaded. This unfortunately is too often the case in Indonesia. This unsatisfactory situation can be traced to two factors in the development of Indonesia’s maritime infrastructure. The first of these is the condition of the fleet. Many vessels are second-hand purchases from other countries, and maintained to an unsatisfactory standard. The second problem is the weak supervision of shipping safety standards, commonly resulting in situations such as overloading or the carrying of unreported hazardous goods. While poor weather may often be the initiating factor in a casualty, good forecasts of weather conditions from the Meteorological, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (MCGA) mean that this should rarely be an issue if the regulation of ship seaworthiness and operating practices raised the standard of safety.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Birmingham R, Utama K, Zaky M, Enshaei H

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: ICSOT: Develpments in Ship Design & Construction

Year of Conference: 2012

Pages: 108-116

Publisher: The Royal Institution of Naval Architecture