Confined Spaces Educational Film

Enclosed and Confined Spaces Training and Education


The problem:

To address the continuing death toll from incidents involving confined spaces, Fidra are now seeking sponsors for the development and distribution of a film-based learning resource to tackle the behavioural issues that lead seafarers (and those in other industries) to take unnecessary risks prior to and during enclosed space entry, and also during frequently-fatal rescue attempts – over half of those that die in an enclosed space do so during an impulsive and lethal rescue attempt.

As far back as 2008, the UK’s MAIB identified four likely contributing factors to incidents in confined spaces (source):

  • Complacency leading to lapses in procedure;
  • Lack of knowledge;
  • Would-be rescuers acting on instinct and emotion rather than knowledge and training.

It is now 2016, and since that report was written numerous seafarers, frequently experienced and apparently well-trained, have succumbed to the risks of dangerous spaces:

  • 13/03/2015 – Sally Ann C – Chief Officer and Chief Engineer asphyxiated, 2nd Officer seriously injured.
  • 29/04/2015 – Corina – 1 OS killed, 3 injured
  • 11/04/2015 – Saga Frontier – 3 stevedores killed
  • 28/06/2014 – UBC Tokyo – 2nd Officer killed, 2 OS injured
  • 26/05/2014 – Suntis – Chief Officer and 2 OS asphyxiated in cargo hold
  • 12/03/2014 – Hudsonborg – Chief Officer asphyxiated in cargo hold

It is clear from the numerous investigation reports that on many occasions the crew members’ perception of risk simply didn’t fit their situation. Although they may have – indeed should have – known the risk, for whatever reason(s) they chose to minimise it to themselves.

Fidra would like to make 2016 the year that the industry finally turns a corner on this subject, ending the needless deaths and injuries and reducing the human and financial cost of these repeated tragedies. Our solution, to be used alongside existing training and drills, is an educational resource that tackles the behavioural aspects of these incidents; to tackle the instinct, emotion and complacency that is so frequently fatal.

Further details of our approach is available in this article and is abridged below.


The solution:

Fidra are working to develop an educational drama to address these issues – the complacency that leads someone to take a risk in the first place, and those instincts and emotions that lead so many to their unnecessary deaths in the vain attempt at a rescue.

Drama is a very powerful medium –  we can all remember films that we watched many years ago – we remember the characters, the plot, specific scenes. We can more than likely repeat lines, on the spur of the moment, from programmes we watched twenty years ago. Drama has the power to plant a seed, to embed a memory or response, to change our behaviour.

‘Traditional’ training films tend to ‘push’ information onto the audience. Facts, figures, do this, don’t EVER do that! But if we push toward a closed mind, then the information is wasted.

Drama works the opposite way. The viewer is drawn in; they empathise with the characters, and they become receptive. They ‘pull’ the information – the ‘learning’ if you like – from the content. It doesn’t need to be rammed down their throats. They learn without realising it. Good drama will elicit an emotional response that no drill is ever likely to do.

If I do that, I’ll die.”

Fidra could fund the production internally, but then we’d have to sell it – our bank manager is a bit old-fashioned like that – and that raises a serious barrier to adoption. By having the freedom of universal distribution, we can get it to as many seafarers as possible, not just the privileged few. We will create something that seafarers will share with their colleagues, that they will talk about. Crucially, they’ll remember it. And they’ll remember the message.

And it needn’t be limited to seafarers. Stevedores, inspectors, shipyard workers, as well as employees in other industries beyond maritime could all benefit from an insight into the risks and likely consequences of these dangerous spaces.

Fidra are looking to raise the production and distribution budget from within the industry, from a small number of organisations and businesses who are willing to demonstrate a commitment to cutting the needless death toll. The message needs to be delivered to all seafarers, not just those fortunate enough to have access to costly commercially-produced materials. To be genuinely effective, universal distribution is not just a nice option, it’s essential.

The film will be freely delivered to the world’s one million seafarers, through all available channels (primarily internet-based). The film will also be promoted and made available for distribution in other industries.



Fidra are looking to secure pledges for 6 blocks of £20k (+VAT) maximum sponsorship from industry stakeholders and organisations. Those who may wish to be associated with this groundbreaking project include P&I Clubs, shipping owners and operators, maritime legal practices, port states, class societies and regional and international maritime organisations.

A sponsorship pledge is a maximum contribution limit, not a fixed sum. It is designed to give Fidra a realistic maximum working budget. When all six pledges are received, Fidra will develop a working creative concept and advise sponsors of the working budget (including likely expenses). This will be lower than the total amount pledged by the sponsors.


Why would you sponsor this project?

There are many reasons why your organisation will benefit. Primarily, you will be contributing to saving lives and suffering, but experience suggests that in these financially difficult times that argument alone will not wash…

  • By lowering the financial costs of incidents – lost time, compensation payments, negative publicity, regulatory intervention, insurance and P&I costs – your sponsorship should in fact be viewed as an investment in the future.
  • PR – this is an innovative approach, both creatively and financially. It will generate considerable publicity during production and on release.
  • Sponsors will have the first opportunity to distribute the film and release publicity materials.

Funding for all Fidra projects includes a percentage to cover our business running costs, project development costs and the ongoing costs of promotion, hosting and distribution via our CDN. What is not included in our costs is a bonus for external shareholders – we do not have any. As outlined elsewhere, Fidra believes that the money invested in seafarer education and training should be used for just that – developing Safer, Smarter Seafarers.


Enquiries & Expressions of Interest:

All enquiries and expressions of interest relating to this project should be addressed to Chris Young via stating clearly that you are looking to discuss the confined/enclosed spaces project, or by telephone 07500 906 220

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