Beyond the Polar Code: Enhancing Seafarer Safety along the Northern Sea Route

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Гуманитарные науки. Humanities & Social Sciences. 2018 11 (3)
Kirchner, Stefan
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Kirchner, Stefan: University of Lapland 8 Yliopistonkatu, Rovaniemi, P.O. Box 122, 96101, Finland;
Shipping; Arctic; Polar Code; STCW

No part of the world is experiencing climate change at a rate as fast as the Arctic. Within years, traditional ways of life are becoming impossible to maintain. Everybody who is living and working in the Arctic has to adapt to rapidly changing realities. Many dangers which are common to the Arctic remain persistent while new dangers emerge. In addition, climate change leads to new actors entering the Arctic region. This includes also seafarers who are working on ships which are merely going through the Arctic, for example along Russia’s Northern coast, the so called Northern Sea Route or North-East Passage (in analogy to the North-West Passage). Crews as well as individual seafarers without prior Arctic experience can be particularly under threat. Based on earlier research concerning the need for enhanced seafarer training in the Arctic, this text will show that the Polar Code as it is today is not enough to provide for a (at least relatively) safe working environment on board vessels which are operating in Arctic waters

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