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Maritime Safety Webinars

Dear Colleagues,

The slight positive about this pandemic situation is that many conferences that would have been difficult and expensive to travel to are going virtual. Here is a a series of webinars and a few conferences from around the world that those engaged in the fields of maritime safety and ferries and other passenger vessels might find of interest.

Best regards,
Roberta Weisbrod
Executive Director
Worldwide Ferry Safety Association


  • Safety@Sea Conference Nov 30, 2020, Virtual. Heike Deggim IMO Maritime Safety Committee is the keynote speaker for this excellent conference traditionally held in Singapore. Registration is open at
  • Transportation Research Board (TRB). Jan. 2021 Virtual.  Traditionally over 14,000 transportation professionals from all over the world attend the Annual Meeting which is held in Washington DC in January.  This year the conference is virtual.  Committee meetings and the Exhibits, both of which are very informative, are cost-free.   Of interest to the Worldwide Ferry Safety Association community are the following TRB committees:  the Ferry Committee, Maritime Safety and Human Factors Committee; and the Transformative Trends in Transit Data Committee. Reduced rate registration deadline is Nov. 30, 2020.  The sessions and the committee meetings are now posted.
  • Worldwide Ferry Safety Association Webinar #2, "Remote Maritime Knowledge Transfer: eLearning, Competency Assessments, Vessel Surveys" with AR, VR, desktop simulations, and more. February 2021. Dates and times will be posted in late November. Contact in the interim.
  • Passenger Vessel Association MariTrends Virtual Conference, Feb. 16-18, 2021.
  • Interferry Santander, Spain. October 2-6, 2021.

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.


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 7th International Design Competition is for a Lake Victoria RoPax ferry. Click here for more information about the 2020 competition. Please register on the competition site.

Convene Ferry Safety and Technology Conference

The 5th Annual Conference, which was held in Bangkok in February 2019, was a success on a number of counts, with 132 people from 17 nations; very high-level presentations on cutting-edge ferry safety activities from the World Bank, World Health Organization, IMO, and Department of Shipping in Bangladesh; innovations from Thailand; Training at Archipelago Ferries; and improvements in safety culture by Damen and FRS--among others. Stunning venues on the Chao Phraya that sparkled with exciting cultural activities made for great enjoyment. See the Conference 2019 page for more information.

Ferry Safety and Technology Conference 2020

The conference is scheduled for Spring 2020 in New York City. Planning activities are underway.

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

Low-cost Automatic Weather Monitors for Ferries. Stay tuned for an announcement in the next few months.

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 info at ferrysafety dot org.