10 March 2021
The extensive participation and lively discussions that took place during the online workshop, which took place on Thursday 4th March, highlighted the great need for more information and open dialogue on critical safety issues related to the use and operation of private and professional yachts and other recreational boats.
The workshop was an initiative of the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association-HELMEPA and its Corporate Supporter LAMDA Flisvos Marina S.A., as part of the project titled “Enhancing the Understanding of New and Enduring Challenges in Maritime Safety Culture in the Eastern Mediterranean*”, implemented in collaboration with CYMEPA in Cyprus. The free of charge workshop was attended by more than 250 people in Greece and Cyprus, captains and crews of sea tourism vessels and yachts, shipping staff and Coast Guard officers, seafarers and motor boat users, representatives of various companies and organizations, students and others.
The event opened with a welcome note by Messrs Theodosis Stamatellos, Lloyd’s Register Area Manager for Greece, East Mediterranean and Adriatic, George Tsavliris, CYMEPA Chairman, and Stavros Katsikadis, CEO of LAMDA Flisvos Marina S.A. & President of the Greek Marinas Association, who stressed, among other, the need for wider synergy between all parties to enhance maritime safety. The Project Coordinator Mr. Costas Triantafillou, briefly presented the goals and activities, and thanked on behalf of HELMEPA Lloyd’s Register Foundation for their continued support, while the presentation of Mr. Leonidas Makris, LR Inspector of small boats and yachts completed the first session of the workshop, making reference to key aspects of a “safety culture”, and the relationship between personal behavior and accident prevention at sea.
During the second session, Professor of Marine Meteorology Dr. Nikolaos Mazarakis provided practical advice to avoid dangerous weather conditions, such as thunderstorms, while the Director of the Hellenic Bureau for Marine Casualties Investigation (HBMCI), Cdr (HCG) Konstantinos Moutzouvis presented data from which common factors and problems that contribute to the occurrence of accidents emerge.
The third session of the workshop kept the interest of participants undiminished, with Messrs Apostolos Korakas, yacht captain and President of the HYCA (Hellenic Yacht Crew Association) and Nikolaos Michalakopoulos, Inspector of Margetis Maritime Consulting, highlighting, on a practical level, issues that need attention during the operation and maintenance of yachts and mega-yachts. In the same session, Mr. Katsikadis spoke about safety issues when mooring, raising the concerns of the participants on a number of issues, such as the adequacy of regulations for small yachts (<24 meters), training, especially among amateur pilots, insurance legislation during mooring, and safety conditions with regards to the operation of floating platforms for disembarkation outside touristic ports.
During the discussion with the speakers, participants had the opportunity to raise other important issues, such as the lack of shore infrastructure for the disposal of expired safety equipment (i.e. distress flares), sewage and grey water from boats, the mooring of boats, and safety when using water sports.
This highly constructive workshop came to a close with an invitation by HELMEPA to participants and all stakeholders of sea tourism entities, marinas, yachting companies and others, to voluntarily contribute to the objectives of the project, by becoming Safety Ambassadors and promoting a strong commitment to safety issues within their local community and the wider area in which they operate.
For further information: 210-9343088 and [email protected]
(*) Note for publishers: The 3-year (2019-2022) project “Enhancing the Understanding of New and Enduring Challenges in Maritime Safety Culture in the Eastern Mediterranean” www.staysafeatsea.gr is implemented by HELMEPA in collaboration with Associate Members Lloyd’s Register and DYNAMARINe in Greece, and sister Association CYMEPA in Cyprus, with the kind support of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF). LRF is an independent global charity that supports research, innovation and education, to make the world a safer place www.lrfoundation.org.uk