Pointing out that accidents may happen even under the most stringent regulatory regimes, Hinchliffe said the industry's ability to learn from such incidents was hampered when accident investigations were not conducted in a timely fashion or the outcomes were not reported to the IMO.
"The track record of rapidly decreasing environmental impact by the shipping industry is the most powerful measure of the steady increase in the safe design, construction and operation of ships," he said.
Sustainability, as highlighted by the recent United Nations Rio+20 Summit on sustainable development, is also a key issue for shipping he explained, stressing that safety, environmental protection and the global quest for reduced dependence on fossil fuel are "inextricably linked."
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