Recently I read an article on Lloyd's List online that began:

The economic downturn will lead to an increase in ship incidents and
pollution, the new chairman of the European Maritime Safety Agency has

Maritime companies are now more likely to postpone maintenance and the
installation of new equipment, postponements which will “jeopardise
safety, security or the environment”.

Now far be it from me to differ at all with those in power but in my humble experience two shipowners are about as much alike as two snowflakes.  How individual companies react to the downturn is going to depend as much on their company culture as on the amount of the loss of their fortunes. Accidents happen, usually, but not exclusively, to the companies that cut back on their maintenance, that don't invest in the recruitment or training of their officers and crews or that look for the classification society that is most pliable.The good companies will find the money to keep their ships in decent nick, as they always do. The bad companies will pull back as far as they think they can without the whole thing falling over.