Manila: Maritime Accident Casebook (MAC), the online safety resource for seafarers, has launched its second crowdfunding initiative to produce its next video case study, The Case of the Incurious Navigators. Based on the grounding of the Ovit on the Varne bank, the study looks at ECDIS issues, a common element in such incidents.
When completed, the video will be available free of charge and can be copied and distributed at no cost. Currently MAC offers a video case study on lifeboat safety, The Case of the Fall From Grace, and some 40 audio podcasts with transcripts on its website.
Says MAC administrator and founer Bob Couttie: “The crowdfunder brings together the fact that the best people to spread a safety message are the seafarers themselves and case studies are an effective way of packaging that message. It effectively gives the seafarer ownership of the message and encourages them to spread it around – especially if they’ve donated to the initiative and have their names in the credits.”
While crowdfunding safety videos is a new concept in the maritime industry Couttie believes it makes financial sense for shipowners and P&I clubs to support it: “Producing a professional quality video is expensive and even buying in videos and making them available onboard ship can be costly. And for P&I clubs one only has to consider that ship grounding is the top cause of loss by value, 50% of all marine insurance claims in excess of €1m, so even if the video makes a modest impact a donation will be repaid many times.”
MAC has been providing free casestudy based safety information since 2006.
“Basically, I’m a storyteller, which I think is an effective way to getting a message across,” Couttie tells Maritime CEO. His rather eclectic background includes work for BBC Radio on documentaries and radio plays and as a jobbing journalist.
He moved to the Philippines and worked for a number of maritime journals developing an interest in how the maritime industry works. Then a friend asked Couttie to join his film and video production outfit in Subic Bay.
One of the training providers he had met in Manila moved into Subic Bay Freeport. He was brought aboard for some video case studies and to narrate their computer-based training programs.
“I realised that there were all these investigation reports sitting on shelves gathering dust that were actually great stories and if presented the right way might actually have an impact on safety and that was how MAC started, doing audio podcasts because I didn’t have the wherewithal to do them all on video,” Couttie says, adding: “I was lucky enough to have a brains trust of very well experienced masters and seafarers who’ve been very supportive. Thanks to them, even though MAC has been very outspoken, we’ve only been taken to task twice on factual information and in both cases we were right.”