In response to the reported concern of the British Government's Department of Transport (DoT) about the growing number of small vessel engine failures at sea in recent years, and the resulting increased burden on the public services, the Small Ship Group of the Institute of Marine Engineers, Scientists and Technologists (IMarEST) has initiated asimple reporting procedure for failures to gather initial data from owners, operators, insurers and their surveyors; plus the rescue services. SSG define a small ship as one of approximately 500 grt or less.
Announcing the project at the SeaWork 2008 conference of the Small Craft Surveyors' Forum earlier this year, SSG's Committee Chairman, Bob Barnes, invited delegates to spread the word around the profession, and contribute their findings by completing and submitting the special report form on the Institute's website.
'Not all entries on the form would be relevant', he said, 'But any sensible data would help. SSG hoped to be able to form some initial picture of the problem in about six month's time". It is also hoped that the engine manufacturers and their agents and dealers will be able to both contribute to, and ultimately benefit from fully analysed reliability data. No ship or owner 'names and addresses' would be retained, and any collected would be used only for verification of the source, then deleted. The intention is to process purely generic data.
In the longer term, and depending on the quantity and quality of the data collected, SSG envisage the possible establishment of a permanent database for small ships and their equipments, similar to the OREDA database set up by the North Sea oil industry equipment in 1980, which is now managed by DnV from Oslo.