Losses in the shipping industry fell to their lowest level for 10 years in 2014, with just 75 large vessels lost worldwide, around half the number seen in 2005. However, Britain has managed to buck the trend, witnessing the highest number of shipping casualties since the start of the period under consideration.
According to the latest report, there were 2,773 shipping casualties globally (including total losses) during 2014. December is the worst month for losses in the northern hemisphere and August in the southern hemisphere. But for every total loss in the southern hemisphere, there are seven in the northern hemisphere. Cargo and fishing vessels held on to their reputation as the most dangerous vessel types, proving responsible for more than half of all losses.
The waters around the British Isles, including the North Sea, English Channel and Bay of Biscay, have been the location of 18% of all shipping casualties involving vessels of 100gt and above across the world since 2005, with 4,381 incidents. The region was also the scene of the second-highest number of casualties during 2014, with 465 incidents, up 29% year-on-year. However, putting this in to perspective, these regions are also some of the busiest in the world for maritime traffic. The East Mediterranean and Black Sea region saw 490 casualties, up 5% yearon- year, making it the most dangerous region in the world for shipping.