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ABS to Create a Hellenic Ship Safety Center

June 5, 2024

Minister of Shipping and Insular Policy of Greece Christos Stylianides and ABS Chairman and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki (Photo: ABS)

Minister of Shipping and Insular Policy of Greece Christos Stylianides and ABS Chairman and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki (Photo: ABS)

A new ship safety center in Athens will help prepare seafarers to handle a dynamic, multi-dimensional shipping industry as alternative fuels and emerging technologies present new challenges for the sector.

Plans to open the Hellenic Ship Safety Center were announced by classification society ABS at the Posidonia trade fair in Athens.

“There is a lot of focus on technology readiness timelines, but what we need to focus on is people readiness timelines,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman and CEO.

“Just think about the degree of change faced by a seafarer today: dynamic versus static fuels, advanced electrification systems, innovative power trains, active energy efficiency devices, soon you can add carbon capture systems, the toxicity challenge of ammonia and further down the track maybe nuclear propulsion. Clearly, the coming generation of seafarers will need to acquire a range of new skills and competencies, and the industry needs to invest in training and development to ensure that these skills are effectively transferred,” Wiernicki said.

The center, which has the support of the Hellenic Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Union of Greek Shipowners, will harness the power of new immersive training techniques, game-based learning and virtual reality environments to address critical emerging safety issues such as handling dynamic fuels, risks generated by cyber enabled systems, hybrid battery propulsion and other technological and decarbonization driven changes on board, ABS said.

The center was announced with an opening address from Christos Stylianidis, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy of Greece. It was followed by a panel discussion on the future of safety, learning and training featuring Christopher J. Wiernicki, Ted Petrone, Vice Chairman, Navios Maritime Partners L.P. and Dimitrios Fafalios, president of Fafalios Shipping S.A., Chairman of Intercargo, and Secretary to Board- Union of Greek Shipowners.

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