Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

New report on ship accidents in the Baltic Sea 2012 released

​A new HELCOM focusing on the shipping accidents in 2012 in the Baltic Sea area as well as for the longer term data series for 2004–2012 has been published today. >>The annual report compiled by the HELCOM Secretariat is based on the national reports of the 2012 shipping accidents by all HELCOM member countries, including all the Baltic Sea coastal states: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russian Federation and Sweden.  >>According to the reports from the HELCOM members, 149 ship accidents occurred in the Baltic Sea area in 2012 (see table below). The total number of accidents in the Baltic Sea has been slightly increasing in the last three years.>>Table 1. The columns to the right of
the vertical dotted red line in this graph include data from a new
Danish accident database, that is not fully comparable with the data
represented for 2009 and earlier years. However, based on HELCOM
Secretariat comparisons between regional datasets including either old
or new Danish data for the years 2010-2012, the effect on the regional
trend can be considered minor.>Based on the ship movement statistics provided by the regional HELCOM Automated Identification Network (AIS) network, the overall ship traffic in 2012 stayed approximately at the same level as in 2011, an increase from the lower traffic levels in 2009 and 2010. Other findings of the report state that in 2012 there were no reported collisions in the Gulf of Finland and the human element was the main cause of all accidents in the region.> >Annual reports on shipping accidents in the whole Baltic Sea area have been compiled by HELCOM since 2000. According to the agreed procedure all accidents are reported irrespectively if there was pollution or not. >>The compiled information includes accidents which involved tankers over 150 gross tonnage and/or other ships over 400 GT, both in territorial seas or EEZ of the HELCOM Contracting Party. Accident types cover i.a. groundings, collisions (striking or being struck by another ship), contacts with fixed or floating objects, pollution accidents (e.g. during fuel transfer) and other types of accidents like fires and explosions, machinery damage and capsizing. >>>>>>* * *>>Note to Editors:>>The Baltic Sea today is one of the busiest seas in the world. More than 2,000 ships are at sea each day and the amount is predicted to keep growing.>> Although growing traffic is a positive sign of intensified cooperation in the Baltic Sea region and a prospering economy, it also makes potentially polluting shipping accidents more likely. Collisions and groundings have increased, and these days there are some 120-140 shipping accidents in the Baltic Sea area every year. Fortunately, most of the accidents in the Baltic do not cause notable pollution. However, even just one large-scale accident would seriously threaten the marine environment. Two of the five most serious accidents in the Baltic marine area have occurred since 2001, involving “Baltic Carrier” in 2001 (2,700 tons of oil spilt), and “Fu Shan Hai” in 2003 (1,200 tons of oil spilt). >>National maritime administrations, industry and the civil society cooperate closely within to find joint solutions for cleaner Baltic Sea shipping. works to ensure swift national and international response to maritime pollution incidents and that in case of an accident the right equipment is available and routines are in place to respond immediately in cooperation with neighbouring states.>>The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention.>>>* * *> For further information, please contact: >Hermanni Backer> Professional Secretary for Maritime, Response and Maritime Spatial Planning> HELCOM> Tel:  +358 46 8509199> Skype: helcom02> E-mail: hermanni.backer(at)>>Johanna Laurila> Information Secretary> HELCOM> Tel: +358 40 523 8988> Skype: helcom70> E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)

According to the reports from the HELCOM members, 149 ship accidents in total occurred in the Baltic Sea area in 2012, a third year with slight increase for accidents.