Page 58: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (May 2019)

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A look inside the fragmented ferry industry, which recently held a Ferry Safety & Security event in Bangkok.


Alan Haig-Brown reports from Thailand ? re and explosion and bottom damage “Death Toll in Phoenix Boat Accident Rises to 44” ... “Deadly Fire all contributing to the total. It has been ascertained that the most important pre-

Aboard Ferry Norman Atlantic” ... “Lake Victoria, Tanzania: Dozens ventive actions will include training and education of the ship’s crew and im- drown in ferry capsize” ... “Ferry Capsizes in Mosul, 80 Feared Dead” proved aides to navigation.

A Different Approach

Such headlines have become all too kok’s Chao Phrya Express Boat Com- structure. The World Bank is currently

A very different, albeit more focused, familiar in the world of marine ferries pany, Manila-based Archipelago Fer- working on a project to promote this for approach to ferry safety for developing from small passenger only boats to large ries,, along with the the area. nations, was explained by Seattle based

RoPax vessels. They occur from Asia to Damen Group, FRS, EA Mechanics Without making excuses for the poor the Americas and Africa to Europe. A and McLaren Engineering. With a tight safety record of Bangladeshi ferries, naval architect John W. Waterhouse, of

Elliott Bay Design Group. Waterhouse signi? cant number of experts are work- agenda over a day and a half the confer- the country’s Director-General of Ship- ing to reduce the headlines while in- ence limited of? cial introductions and ping, Commodore Syed Ariful Islam, and some associates were looking for an African project. Noting the lack of a creasing the safety of ferries. got down to work with a panel of pre- explained some of the challenges. For maritime navigation culture around the

Dr. Roberta Weisbrod, Executive Di- senters titled “Good News About Ferry those who have not read Amitav Gosh’s huge Lake Victoria, they researched the rector and founder of the New York- Systems”. great novel The Hungry Tide, set in the needs of an offshoot, the Winam Gulf. based Worldwide Ferry Safety Associa- Two presenters went to the heart of Indian Sundarbans, the mangrove forest-

Entirely in Kenya, this body of water is tion has long been a leading activist in ferry safety for Indian and Bangladesh. ed area extending from India into Ban- about 35 miles long and 15 miles wide. the cause. This past February she spear- World Bank Transport Specialist Rajesh gladesh, Islam catalogued the challenges

Road conditions in the area are bad in headed a conference on Ferry Safety and Rohatgi explained how the inland wa- of maintaining an infrastructure for fer- the dry season and virtually impassable

Security held in Bangkok Thailand. terways offer potential for economic in- ries. This is an area of incessant tidal and in the rainy season. A ferry crossing of

It was sponsored by tegration of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, weather changes to the mud banks of the the Gulf will take 60 minutes. By road to

Bang- and Nepal. However, he explained there islands that make up much of southern go around the Gulf, even in the dry sea- is a huge need for the further develop- Bangladesh along the Bay of Bengal. ment of public and private ferry ? eets, The causes of 3,633 ferry related son, will take 155 minutes. The key to terminal infrastructure with “last- deaths between 1991 and 2018 have a successful operation will be control of as many variables as possible. Beginning mile” connections, as well as been investigated. Among them are, col- with a main depot and waiting room, toi- navigational aides and infra- lision, overloading, inclement weather, lets and fueling, the company will ini-

Photo Courtesy Alain Haig-Brown

Dr. Roberta Weisbrod, Executive Director of the Worldwide

Ferry Safety Association, was did much to spearhead the Ferry Safety Conference in Bangkok.

MR #5 (58-65).indd 58 5/3/2019 12:29:58 PM

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