Ship collision is the name given to the physical impact that occurs between two ships resulting in a damaging accident. This particular collision can also occur between a ship and a stable or a floating structure like an offshore drilling platform or an ice berg or even a port.
In majority of such cases the impact is devastating to say the least. The damage that such an accident causes cannot just be measured in terms of costing or money, in fact it goes beyond that. With the increase in the traffic on the high seas and the technological advancements in the marine engineering resulting in the development of heavy and huge ships with great speed, the risk of such accidents has increased a lot.
When a ship collision occurs it has immeasurable consequences. Firstly, the loss of life is always an irreparable damage and something that can never be compensated for. Unfortunately the possibilities of loss of life in such cases are very high. Secondly, the environmental impact is very negative especially if any one of the vessels in the collision happens to carry any chemicals or any other harmful material that could be dangerous for marine life.
An oil tanker is a very good example of this and the world has seen many accidents involving a tanker. The oil spills not only create a biological crisis but also remains damaging for a very long time thereby resulting in financial losses to the tune of millions of dollars. In such cases the communities residing in the coastal area near the site of the ship collision suffer the most.
The next big sufferers are obviously the owners of the ships or those who had some financial stakes in the two or any one of the vessels. Although there are laws that govern the calculation of the damage and the subsequent penalty, in any case the loss plus the financial penalty if any is a huge setback to the owners. And finally, the damage to the infrastructure is also something that has to be taken into consideration.
Although in terms of the overall impact it is considered to be the least important at that point of time but a little later when the dust settles on the issue, the true extent of the loss is calculated and the infrastructure is in no way any less, especially if the ship collision occurred at any stable structure like the harbor or the offshore platforms etc.
Reasons for ship collisions at sea
The causes of any ship collision are numbered. It could occur due to a blatant human error, be it an error in judgment or navigation or both. In fact in most cases this is the root-cause. In addition to this any technical malfunction or mechanical failure of the system or machinery like the propulsion unit can also be a genuine cause. And last but not the least an act of sabotage can also not be ruled out although this has not been the case in the majority of the cases thus far.