SHIMURA Yukinori

2021- National Institute of Technology, Wakayama College

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National Institute of Technology, Wakayama College




A Case Study of the Sightseeing Tour Boat Accident Off the Shiretoko Peninsula and Pedagogic Importance of Case Studies in Engineering Ethics Education
SHIMURA Yukinori

We explore a case study on an accident and show how it can be a pedagogical source of engineering ethics education for technical college students. We deal with a sight-seeing tour boat accident off the Shiretoko Peninsula caused on 23 April 2022. A tourist boat Kazu Ⅰ sank with twenty-six people on board in bad weather. The Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) issued a progress report on 15 December 2022. This report identified four causes of the accident but didn’t discuss any ethical problems from the point of view of engineering ethics. Among four cases, we examine the hull structure, a judgment by the captain, and the non-compliant attitude of an operating company as potential subjects in engineering ethics classes. According to the report, for instance, the boat was running with its hatch not fixed and closed for any reason, and the seawater flowing into it from the hatch is supposed to be one of the principal causes of the sinking. Can engineers predict the possibility of a shipwreck and advise the company to repair the hatch? Why did the captain exercise judgment on the departure from the port and continue sailing in bad weather? These questions can be the topics of discussion in engineering ethics classes. After looking into the causes of the accident spelled out in the report JTSB issued, we argue the pedagogical importance of new case studies in engineering ethics education. While classical cases we can see in textbooks of engineering ethics are easy to treat, new ones are difficult to argue because of the lack of previous research. There is, however, room for free discussion in a recent case, and it can attract students more because they may know it well in the latest news report. These advantages enable students to think about the case as a person concerned.

Education Research and Practice
Training Room 2