Preventing Oil Pollution on Ships

Oil pollution in the ocean comes in many forms. From oil spills to everyday transportation on the high seas, the shipping industry has become synonymous with ocean pollutants. But newer ships and shipping companies are reshaping the industry with cutting-edge technology that focuses on safety and environmental health.

Combined with computer-assisted design, newer ships target the problem of vessel pollution and do what they can to limit oil pollution in shipping. These new ships and updated safety measures are making water health a priority through training and updated systems.

Here’s a better look at how to prevent oil pollution in ships.

Pilot Training

To reduce the risk of accidental groundings and oil spills, tanker pilots should be trained more thoroughly on updated technologies. Virtual technology options help newer pilots get behind the wheel without the prospect of causing an accident. Several training facilities offer state-of-the-art virtual training options to help set pilots up for success when setting out on open waters. These facilities feature full-scale models of tanker bridges and use full-surround video screens and audio to recreate real situations.

Pilots in training come across potential hazards such as fishing boats, yachts, tugboats, and helicopters. What’s more, instructors in a nearby control room help increase the complexity of a training session by piping in the wind, fog, or floating logs.

Redundant Systems

Many tankers are now equipped with redundant systems to help them withstand even the most extreme and hazardous circumstances. A second system that’s fully functional steps in to back it up if a system is compromised.

This system is used in navigation with backup GPS systems below deck with redundant engine rooms. When it comes to duplicate rudders and propellers, there’s an added benefit of improved maneuverability.

Double Hulls

Since 2015, all tankers operating in U.S. waters are double-hulled vessels. This configuration provides an extra layer of security for ships. In the event of a collision or grounding, the outer hull bears the brunt of the initial impact. In contrast, the interior hull keeps the cargo secure and prevents any oil from exiting the ship into the surrounding water.


Today’s modern tugboats and towboats are becoming more advanced and are equipped with state-of-the-art communication technology, powerful engines, and propulsion systems. Combined with comprehensive personnel training regulations, the shipping industry is achieving greater safety and environmental protection.

Vessel Pollution Insurance

Whether or not a shipping company experiences a collision or loss of some sort with one of its vessels, operating with vessel pollution insurance is essential. This coverage provides protection for shipping companies from claims related to oil pollution.

Vessel pollution insurance provides accidental water polluter coverage from the liabilities and risks they incur under federal and global water regulations. This kind of policy covers losses, including cleanup efforts, legal defense and civil penalties, and damage to the water and natural resources. While the goal is to mitigate the risks at sea and cut down on pollution, operating with vessel pollution insurance provides peace of mind.

About WQIS

At Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS), we provide water pollution liability insurance from the smallest to the largest fleets for vessel operators worldwide, providing coverage for more than thirty thousand (30,000) vessels, pollution guaranties for over three thousand five hundred (3,500) vessels, and have cleaned up over five thousand (5,000) spills in our history. WQIS offers insurance on behalf of twelve (12) subscribing insurance companies in the Marine Insurance Market (see Subscribers for details).