We continuously conduct training to ensure appropriate responses in the event of an emergency or trouble.
On board, we regularly conduct emergency response drills for fire, flooding, and other situations. Furthermore, MOL Group companies that operate ferries and cruise ships conduct regular emergency response drills, including evacuation guidance, as they put the highest priority on ensuring customer safety in an emergency.
On land, once a year at the head office, the president and other relevant officers, relevant departments, and ship management companies jointly conduct emergency response drills in anticipation of serious marine accidents. The purpose of this training is to raise safety awareness of MOL as a whole by simulating a serious marine accident, and to confirm that the necessary response and information transfer can be conducted accurately and smoothly in the event of a serious marine accident.
By sharing and improving the know-how accumulated through this training and newly discovered issues, we will further strengthen our emergency response system for emergencies.
MOL conducts periodic ship inspections, based on our unique safety standards, targeting all MOL Group-operated vessels, regardless of whether they are owned or chartered.
These inspections verify that the vessels are properly maintained and can operate safely.
With chartered vessels, we communicate closely with the shipowners and assigned ship management companies, to make sure they have a full understanding of the safety standards we require. We also cooperate with them to pursue safety measures while building mutually trusting relationships.
Two ship inspectors, who have a thorough knowledge of MOL's safety standards through onboard experience as captains or chief engineers, personally visit ships and conduct detailed investigations based on a checklist of about 600 items, such as the vessels' operational and maintenance status of the vessel, ship management status, and so on.
Even when it is difficult to visit vessels due to regulations under the COVID-19, the remote vessel inspection (Examine photographs or video images, Documents, Questionnaires, etc. from shipowners and ship management companies) is continued.
If they spot an unsafe or non-conforming condition, they make sure the vessel and its ship management company take appropriate corrective measures so the ship meets MOL's strict safety standards.
Their completed report, which covers the entire inspection and is illustrated with photographs, is circulated among relevant divisions including the responsible business division. Thus, the quality of the vessel is confirmed. In the case of chartered vessels, the shipowner receives any corrective guidance through the business division. This consistent, professional approach ensures the safety of both owned and chartered ships.
In the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of the Gulf of Aden and Somalia, and in the Straits of Singapore, where there is a risk of piracy occurring, we are strengthening surveillance on ships by increasing the number of lookouts using radar and night vision, and by increasing the number of lookouts.
To ward off pirate attacks, the ship is equipped with razor wire and crew members wear bulletproof vests and helmets. In the event that there is a high risk of being boarded by pirates, the crew will be evacuated to an evacuation area called the Citadel to prevent any harm to the crews until the rescue of warships arrives.
On land, our Safe Operation Support Center (hereinafter SOSC) shares information on piracy and other incidents with vessels navigating in dangerous waters to raise awareness. In addition, a monitoring system is used 24 hours a day to check whether vessels are implementing prescribed measures such as speed increases in accordance with the navigation guidelines established by our company.
It is very difficult to predict terrorist acts, but when we receive information that an incident has occurred, the SOSC disseminates the information to vessels operating in the vicinity and related parties without delay to alert them.
In particular, the situation remains tense in the Middle East, including the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Red Sea, and the Arabian Sea, with attacks on vessels. When entering such high-risk waters, we take all necessary security measures, such as increasing the number of lookouts, rechecking fire extinguishing equipment in preparation for fires, and avoiding navigation in coastal areas.
In addition, on land, we understand the status of vessels scheduled to enter the Middle East, and continuously collect security information on the situation in the Middle East and incidents of attacks from industry organizations, security investigation companies, and vessels navigating in the vicinity so that we can take prompt action when we receive security information that is a concern for safe navigation.
For countries where there are security concerns, such as Libya where political unrest continues, we obtain risk assessments from security survey companies when calling ports or navigating their coastal waters. We have established our own necessary navigation guidelines, including the setting of no-navigable areas to avoid entry into areas of particularly high risk. In addition, on land, the SOSC constantly monitors the movements of vessels based on these navigation guidelines.
In the event of a launch of a ballistic missile or other flying object by North Korea, we promptly gather information from relevant ministries, agencies, industry organizations, etc., on the predicted point of impact, alert vessels navigating in the vicinity, and confirm their safety.
The Bridge Resource Management (BRM) training targeting Master / Navigation Officer and the Engine Resource Management (ERM) training targeting Chief Engineer / Engineers are positioned as the core to support safe operation at MOL.
The purpose of this training is to achieve safe operation by teamwork, quality communication and full utilization of available resources (people, equipment, information, etc.), and not only by technical knowledge and skills such as ship handling techniques and equipment operation methods.
Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (Class NK) has accredited our BRM training conformity to IMO model course, and ERM training conformity to STCW. Both can be offered to seafarers from companies outside the MOL Group.
The system involves experienced captains and chief engineers who understand MOL safe operation standards traveling onboard ships to identify unsafe practices and latent risks only discoverable on the ships in service, and order immediate improvements. Information on near misses, best practices, and the like is also disseminated on each ship to help raise safety awareness and prevent human error.