AUSTRALIA will play an important role in a new marine casualty investigation program from the International Maritime Organization.

The program aims to build IMO member states’ technical capacity for marine casualty investigations.

As part of the initiative, member states are to nominate two representatives from their marine casualty investigation units to observe the work of counterparts in Australia and Singapore.

The IMO said observing investigation processes in Australia and Singapore would give other member states in-field exposure.

The member states’ representatives are to then share their experiences with colleagues through an in-house training program.

The IMO said it is currently working with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Transport Safety Investigation Bureau of Singapore to develop the scheme.

The IMO is leading the broader initiative in consultation with the Marine Accident Investigators’ International Forum to ensure member states report and conduct marine accident investigations consistently.

The initiative also involves a foundation course designed to provide member states with additional support as they start to develop expertise at a national level.

The course is based on the IMO Model Course 3.11 on safety investigations into marine casualties and marine incidents. 

The IMO held its first foundation course on marine casualty investigation in Bangkok this week.

It ran from 9 January until 13 January. The course targeted officers from Thailand’s Marine Accident Investigation Office.

The World Maritime University is delivering the IMO-funded pilot programme with the support of the Transport Safety Investigation Bureau of Singapore.