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The mission of the Worldwide Ferry Safety Association (WFSA) is to reduce ferry fatalities and expand the use of safe ferries globally: WFSA is an action-oriented organization.

Annual Report, 2023

Click here for the Worldwide Ferry Safety Association's report on 2023 activities.


School children waiting to board ferry on Lake Toba in North Sumatra (June 2019).

Consult on Ferry Safety

With the World Bank in Indonesia. The World Bank Senior Transport Specialist, Elena Chesheva, invited WFSA for a mission June 17-26, 2019, to offer guidance on ferry safety in Indonesia with particular emphasis in Lake Toba, in northern Sumatra. Roberta Weisbrod and Captain Nurur Rahman represented WFSA; WFSA colleague and design competition judge, Aleik Nurwahyudy, from the Indonesia National Transport Safety Committee, was also a key part of the team. The team made site visits, interviewed ferry operators and government managers, and presented their recommendations to a meeting of key government officials, and prepared an in-depth written report.

Sponsor Design Competition for a Safe Affordable Ferry

The 8th International Design Competition is for a Ro-Pax ferry on the Amazon River in Brazil. Please see the Ferry Design Competition page for more information.

Convene Ferry Safety and Technology Conference

Ferry Safety and Technology Conferences

Planning activities are underway for the 2021 conference.

Maintain Ferry Fatality Database

WFSA continues to maintain a database with 25 data points for each fatal accident since the year 2000. In order to fully comprehend the information, the data is aggregated into causation trends, national trends, and more recently regional trends. The most important trends illustrated by the data are:

  • Improvements in ferry safety in the Philippines since 2010;
  • Improvements in Bangladesh ferry safety over the last three years;
  • Increasing reports of sudden hazardous weather particularly in Indonesia.
  • Lake Victoria as a ferry fatality hotspot, when aggregating data from Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

Undertake Needed Ferry Safety Technology Projects

Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) for Bangladesh Inland Waterways. WFSA has sought to advance implementation of IMO-mandated AIS through advocacy publications and presentations and has brokered implementation actions.  There is widespread recognition of the importance of implementing AIS on the inland waterways of Bangladesh, especially with the new Bangladesh-World Bank development project. Stay tuned for announcements.

Research and Publish Reports

Recent publications include:  

See the Reports page for additional articles about ferry safety issues.

Present at International Conferences

Getting the word out, learning about new advances, expanding the circle of interest in ferry safety, and learning who are the ardent and informed advocates happens at international conferences: 

WFSA was represented at the Search and Rescue Conference of the Pacific Nations (PACSAR) in Honolulu by Bruce Tweed, who distributed a fact sheet about how WFSA helps

Captain Nurur represented WFSA at the Singapore Safety@Sea Conference: Maritime Safety in the Digital Age August 28-30, 2019 with two presentations, “Technology and Ferry Safety” at the session on Technology Initiatives/Developments to Enhance Maritime Safety and “Ferry Safety in the Digital Age.” 

WFSA's Roberta Weisbrod and Professor George Berg of the University at Albany, SUNY, will make a presentation at the First International Conference on 3D Printing in Transportation November 19, 2019, in Washington DC at the National Academy of Science building. A copy of the presentation will be available after delivery.

The Worldwide Ferry Safety Association is a not-for-profit dedicated to bringing innovation in training methods, as well as use of technology to provide notification for sudden hazardous weather, curb overloading, and enhance marine rescue technology. We encourage innovative new ideas in ferry safety and design. To that end WFSA is sponsoring a design competition for safe affordable ferries. The competition is open for registration now. Those interested, please contact us at ferrysafety at gmail dot com.