Almost a third of shipping losses in 2017 (30) occurred in the South China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines maritime region, up 25% annually, driven by activity in Vietnamese waters. This area has been the major global loss hotspot for the past decade, leading some media commentators to label it the “new Bermuda Triangle”. The major loss factors are actually weather – in November 2017, Typhoon Damrey caused six losses –, busy seas and lower safety standards on some domestic routes. Outside of Asia, the East Mediterranean and Black Sea region is the second major loss hotspot (17) followed by the British Isles (8). There was also a 29% annual increase in reported shipping incidents in Arctic Circle waters (71), according to AGCS analysis.
Cargo vessels (53) accounted for over half of all vessels lost globally in 2017. Fishing and passenger vessel losses are down year-on-year. Bulk carriers accounted for five of the 10 largest reported total losses by GT. The most common cause of global losses remains foundering (sinking), with 61 sinkings in 2017. Wrecked/stranded ranks second (13), followed by machinery damage/failure (8).
Analysis shows Friday is the most dangerous day at sea – 175 losses of 1,129 total losses reported have occurred on this day over the past decade. Friday 13th really can be unlucky – three ships were lost on this day in 2012 including Costa Concordia, the largest-ever marine insurance loss. The unluckiest ship of the past year is a passenger ferry operating in the East Mediterranean and Black Sea region – it was involved in seven accidents in 12 months.