As I travelled in to work today, as a passenger on two trains and London Underground, I expected the driver to use the cabin technology and be vigilant enough to get me there safely.
It has not failed yet in my 18 years of commuting, mainly because of the navigation technology.
Therefore, it seems extraordinary to me that with all the bridge systems on board passenger ships they can still crash into other vesselsendangering the lives of all on board.
This is what happened last week as we reported that two ferries crunched into other ships putting their passengers, crew and the environment at risk.
One accident involved Tunisian ferry Ulyssecrashing with static container ship CSL Virginiaoff Corsica on 8 October. It had been anchored there since the end of September, so should have been a known navigation hazard.
Another accident involved fast ferry VOC Bataviacolliding with moving bulk carrier Pacific Crownon 11 October, resulting in injuries to passengers and crew.
It is not yet clear how each accident occurred, but both should have been preventable. Navigators should have been vigilant and been aware of hazards, both static and in motion.
There will be questions whether the ships involved had AIS switched on, whether the ferries’ bridge systems were working correctly and whether the bridge watch officer lost situational awareness or had it impaired.
There must be thorough investigations into each accident and lessons learnt across the whole industry to prevent passenger ship collisions in the future.
These should be the last examples, but unfortunately, I predict there will be more if the warnings are not acted upon.