What contributes more to safety? Seamanship and common sense or the regulations and management systems that we currently use? Captain Charis Kanellopoulos argues that seamanship onboard modern merchant vessels is almost extinct, leading to an increase in incidents across the industry. You can read his op/ed at :
There is certainly some truth in what he says. Does the additional administrative workload onboard contribute to fatigue? Absolutely. Unfortunately, the majority of regulations have been brought about by disasters or incidents where seaman have NOT used common sense and good seamanship. Regulations are written for the lowest common denominator – the person that is not applying common sense and is prone to contributing to or causing incidents. Is that fair to those who feel they are not that lowest common denominator? Possibly not. Then again, should they also feel relieved that there is some safety net that will catch an unsafe act before it becomes an incident?
So, I ask again. What contributes more to safety? Seamanship and common sense or the regulations and management systems that we currently use? Perhaps, it’s a combination of all these factors…….