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Avoiding Collisions at Sea Plus
Start date: Oct 1, 2016, End date: Mar 31, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGs) are a set of rules to avoid collisions at sea. However a study undertaken by Acar et al (2011) showed that almost 50% of seafarers disregard/ignore the COLREGs at sea. This is supported by recent MARS and MAIB case law (UK accident agencies), which indicate that many of the principles of collision avoidance are improperly applied, particularly relating to the more complex rules or complex real-life situations (Ziarati et al, 2015 - Collisions remain a major source of accidents at sea resulting in serious injuries and loss of life and property. EMSA'a 2014 Accident Review found that between 2011-2013 in the category of 'accidents with a ship' collisions were the second leading cause of accidents resulting in serious injuries. It was accepted that there will be no changes to the COLREGs in the short-medium future when the International Maritime Lecturers Association made its position supporting the COLREGs clear in its June 2014 Newsletter. where it stated that "COLREG specific" accidents can be attributed to "the unsatisfactory results of maritime training".Seeing the severity of this issue, along with the target of zero collisions in the EU's R&D framework (Horizon 2014) research has been carried out during the ACTS project (2013-15) to identify training needs, resulting the ACTS+ project aims:1. To develop learning materials to improve the ability of seafarers to apply the COLREGs in complex real life scenario's.2. To develop a teacher training programme to improve the ability of Teachers to teach the correct COLREGs applications.3. To develop an e-learning delivery platform.4. To involve shipping companies in the development of these learning materials so that the real life situations are addressed.5. To submit a case study to the international policymaker, and professional associations to raise the need for improved teacher and cadet/seafarer training on COLREGs.An expected 50,000 participants will be involved in the project either directly or Indirectly through dissemination. These 50,000 participants are split into the following target markets:Primary• Maritime Trainers / Teachers • Maritime Companies• Seafarers (inactive and active)• Cadets (still in training at their Maritime Education and Training Institution MET))Secondary• Maritime education policymakers (national, European and international)• International awarding, accrediting and licensing bodiesThese primary target audiences have been identified because they will be the end users of the ACTS+ outputs. The secondary target audiences have been selected because they provide the environment that the primary audiences operate in. The policymakers set the training requirements, and the professional bodies accredit and licence training courses and learning materials giving the international 'stamp' of quality.The project will contain a mix of intellectual outputs and multiplier events covering: • development of the delivery system (online learning platform), • development of online learning scenario's for seafarers, • development of a teacher training course for the teaching of COLREG in more complex situations,• Validation workshops during the development of the learning scenario's and teacher training course,• Piloting sessions for both the learning scenario's and teacher training course,• Project Final Conference• Report to relevant international Maritime associations and policymakers with recommendations for changes in teacher training and learning practices for COLREGs.COLREGs content is currently taught in Bridge simulators that have limited capacity and are expensive. To address this the intention is to transform multi-ship and/or multi-rule situations into to a set of PC based scenarios, (Ziarati, 2007) reported PC based scenarios to be as good as Bridge simulators in acquiring navigational skills and competencies. The PC based scenario approach to teaching such skills is based on a proven methodological approach developed in recently completed Leonardo projects: M’aider (2009-11), SURPASS (2009-2012 and ACTS (2013 - 15). The project will have a range of impacts from the long-term reduction the number of collisions related accidents, resulting in safer seas, to the improved competences of Maritime Lecturers in designing and delivery digital e-kerning materials, and a more mobile and qualified EU maritime labor force able to compete on the global stage for higher skilled jobs. It will also help build the e-learning infrastructure of the EU and Maritime Industry which are currently in their infancy compared to other sectors and countries and position the EU as a centre of high quality and innovative e-learning based Maritime Education for and ensure other regions around the world can look to for good practices to adopt for COLREGs teaching.

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