Machine learning deployed by InterManager to investigate lifeboat accidents

Lloyd’s Register (LR) has deployed its SafetyScanner machine learning technology as part of a project with to InterManager identify new data on the causes of lifeboat accidents, with the aim of improving lifeboat safety at sea.

Concerned about lifeboat safety and fatalities caused by lifeboat accidents, InterManager began gathering statistics several years ago, aiming to identify key risk factors. Having collated figures dating back to 1980, InterManager says it now has the largest maritime industry database of lifeboat accidents.

LR’s SafetyScanner is an artificial intelligence system designed to read vast amounts of data and identify common themes, topics and phrases. The technology was used to examine the raw aggregated data from InterManager’s lifeboat accident database and identify new insights into the main causes, hazards and trends surrounding lifeboat accidents.

The project discovered that human beings were not the primary cause of lifeboat accidents, with 23.8% of accidents due to issues relating to equipment. The most common mechanism issues involved the release mechanism, davit, and wire or rope.

The study also found that one in every five accidents involved the boat or crew falling into the water, while one in every 13 accidents happened when the lifeboat was in the stowed position.

InterManager intends to use this data during its discussions with maritime industry regulators and the wider shipping industry, as the association works with them to help reduce risks and to prevent fatalities.

“By using machine learning technology, our clients can transform the way they approach Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) decisions and gain a clearer picture of where to focus their HSE efforts,” said Elena Prekopova, LR’s Director of Digital Innovation.

“In this case, LR’s SafetyScanner has helped InterManager analyse years of legacy data, not only providing an efficient way of reviewing data but, more importantly, identifying valuable safety insights into the main causes and themes around lifeboat accidents.”

“We hope our findings will enable the wider industry to think differently when it comes to lifeboat safety, so that we can help to reduce the number of lifeboat accidents that occur and ultimately save lives at sea.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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