The Government of Liberia through the Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has begun a 10-day national training course on maritime casualty and incident investigation.
The 10-day forum is being held at the Monrovia Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRMRCC) situated on the Bushrod Island.
Speaking at the start of the 10-day forum, the head of department of the Department for Member State Audit and Implementation Support, Maritime Safety Division, Mr. Lawrence D. Barchue Sr., said the training is aimed at assisting Liberia to uniformly carry out investigations into marine casualties and incidents in accordance with IMO Casualty Investigation Code.
According to Mr. Barchue, investigation of marine casualty and incidents and cooperation among states in the conduct of such investigations has long been an item under consideration at the IMO.
He pointed out that the way forward for marine accident and casualty investigation presents many challenges that require the continued commitment and willingness of Member States to deliver their responsibilities.
"A thorough look at the available documentation on casualty investigations leads one to think of a daunting task ahead, mired with complexities, extensive procedures and not least both human and financial resource implementations. However, proper planning and legislation would minimize any initial difficulties and negative impact that could possibly appear," said Mr. Barchue.
"You have major role to play in advancing Liberia's need for a fully functioning domestic marine casualty system, based on the principles enshrined within the applicable IMO treaties and Code. I hope this beginning will prove useful and fulfilling to you and Liberia," he stated.
"I hope that the vision of saving lives and protecting the environment will inspire you and humbly request that you apply yourselves diligently to gain as much knowledge as possible from the course so that your future work associated with marine casualty investigation will bring the success we all desire," he among other things urged participants. Meanwhile, the objective of the training course is to encourage a common and positive approach to the safety investigation of marine casualties and incidents and also to promote cooperation between States in the region when identifying the contributing factors leading to marine casualties.
The course is also aimed at updating existing casualty investigators of the recipient countries on the latest development relating to development of the Casualty Investigation Code.
The training is designated to update the technical and administrative officers involved in maritime policy-making on casualty-related matters.
Among other things, the training is geared towards facilitating the exchange of information between investigators, in order to promote cooperation in the conduct of investigations and to establish a regional forum.