Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2008.4.1.1. | Award Amount: 4.64M | Year: 2009
The new probabilistic damage stability regulations for dry cargo and passenger ships (SOLAS 2009), which entered into force on January 1, 2009, represent a major step forward in achieving an improved safety standard through the rationalization and harmonization of damage stability requirements. There are, however, serious concerns regarding the adopted formulation for the calculation of the survival probability of ROPAX and mega cruise vessels; thus ultimately of the Attained and Required Subdivision Indices for passenger ships. Furthermore, present damage stability regulations account only for collision damages, despite the fact that accidents statistics, particularly of passenger ships, indicate the profound importance of grounding accidents. The proposed research project addresses the above issues by: Improving and extending the formulation introduced by MSC 216 (82) for the assessment of the probability of survival of ROPAX and mega cruise ships in damaged condition, based on extensive use of numerical simulations. Performing comprehensive model testing to investigate the process of ship stability deterioration in damaged condition and to provide the required basis for the validation of the numerical simulation results. Elaborating damage statistics and probability functions for the damage location, length, breadth and penetration in case of a collision / grounding accident, based on a thorough review of available information regarding these accidents over the past 30-60 years worldwide. Formulating a new probabilistic damage stability concept for ROPAX and cruise ships, incorporating collision and grounding damages, along with an improved method for calculation of the survival probability. Establishing new risk-based damage stability requirements of ROPAX and cruise vessels based on a cost/benefit analysis to establish the highest level for the required subdivision index. Investigating the impact of the new formulation for the probabilistic damage stability evaluation of passenger ships on the design and operational characteristics of a typical set of ROPAX and cruise vessel designs (case studies). Preparing and submitting a summary of results and recommendations to IMO for consideration (end of project, year 2012).
News Article | January 8, 2016
One of the most baffling sights this year so far: thousands of bright pink plastic detergent bottles getting washed up on a Cornwall beach in the United Kingdom. And locals are bracing themselves for more bottles to appear on the shore. More than 2,000 bottles arrived at Poldhu Cove on the Lizard last Sunday, prompting diligent clearing operations. Volunteers warned that the bottles – expected to increase in numbers in the coming days – pose a potential risk to wildlife. The pink bottles come from a container going overboard from a ship during a recent storm. Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is currently investigating the connection of its products to the bottles. “[T]he Maritime Coastguard Agency sent a helicopter out and discovered that actually there’s whole rafts of them that are likely to be coming our way,” said Justin Whitehouse of the National Trust. The plastic bottles were believed to be full. Whitehouse added that Lizard Point is among the largest shipping routes in the UK. The high seas usually cause ships to lose containers, which will sink to the bottom and lie there for months prior to a storm breaking them open and rising to the surface. In a statement, RB assured that regardless of the bottles’ origin, they are looking into the matter and providing financial, logistical, and technical support for cleanup and disposal operations. Kids, Dogs Should Keep Away In the meantime, the local council urged everyone to keep children and dogs at a safe distance from the bottles, some of which were seen foaming. Cornwall Council and partners that include the Maritime and Coastguard Agency continue to monitor nearby beaches and perform cleanups. The container was thought to be separated from its vessel near Land’s End back in May. Various groups expressed concerns over the situation, with plastic pollution in the seas already a pressing matter. Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Matt Slater cited the bottles’ contents and their potential impact on the marine ecosystem. “[O]f course, the plastic bottles themselves could persist in the environment for hundreds of years,” he said. Smaller plastic pieces could be ingested by marine creatures, resulting in illness and even death. Poldhu Beach Watcher added on Twitter that while the pink bottles can be cleared, the “real environmental disaster” lies on the lines of pulverized plastic remaining at every tide. Plastic pollution in the oceans is a global concern. About 80 percent of marine litter originates on land and is largely made up of plastic, which could choke and starve seabirds, sea turtles, whales, and other marine animals to death. U.S. environmental watchdog group Natural Resources Defense Council said this pollution not only threatens public and marine health, but also entails huge costs for cleanup, causes flood because of trash-blocked drains, and lost tourism revenue from dirty beaches. A survey on some California communities, for instance, found that their total annual costs for preventing litter from turning into pollution is a staggering $428 million a year. One of NRDC’s key recommendations is to hold plastic producers and polluters accountable.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Aerial footage of the Highlands recorded on a camera fitted to the tail rotor of a helicopter has been released the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The video was taken while Inverness Coastguard's search and rescue crew were on a training exercise. The new tail rotor cam has captured the helicopter flying over mountains and lochs near Inverness. The search and rescue helicopter based at Inverness Airport is operated by Bristow Group.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST-2007-4.1-01;SST-2007-4.1-03 | Award Amount: 4.33M | Year: 2009
The size of new passenger ships is continuously increasing. Bigger size offers bigger opportunities and economics of scale, but when a bigger ship accommodates more passengers there may be a higher risk, if evacuation is needed. Thus, new approaches have to be used and further developed in order to have the flooding under control if the watertight integrity of the ship is lost. In the worst case, all flooding accidents may lead to the capsizing or sinking of the ship within a highly variable time frame. The need to ensure safe return to port or at least sufficient time for abandonment, will form major challenge in ship design. However, the assessment of the available time and the evacuation decision are not easy tasks. This process is complicated and there is a notable lack of data. Thus, guidelines and methods to tackle these problems must be developed. New tools are required in order to increase the designers and operators possibilities to reliably evaluate the ships capability to survive in flooding accidents. This project sets to derive most of the missing data for validation of time-domain numerical tools for assessment of ship survivability and to develop a standard for a comprehensive measure of damaged ship stability, as a means of addressing systematically, rationally and effectively the risk of flooding. Unlike any current regulations the envisaged standard will reflect the stochastic nature of the damaged ship stability in waves. It will be based on first-principles modeling and thus it will reflect the nature of foundering as a process comprising loss of either (or both), flotation and stability, but also and more importantly ultimate loss of human life. Since risk-based, the standard will form a basis for decision support. It is expected that by explicit disclosure of the risks associated with ship flooding and thus addressed from early design to operation, the safety level can be raised substantially from levels of current legislation.
Ralph D.W.,Maritime and Coastguard Agency
RINA, Royal Institution of Naval Architects - International Conference on Design and Construction of Super and Mega Yachts | Year: 2013
This paper asks a question in its title, or is it a statement? A sometimes uneasy relationship between statutory Regulation and yachts might well be expected. The paper traces the creation of what has become known as the MCA Large Commercial Yacht Code from the recognition of an essential need to a Code which has become a "de facto" international standard. The initial drive for a Code came from the industry, the invitation for industry-wide co-operation and consultation to under-pin the drafting process came from the flag administration. This unlikely partnership produced a Code which is increasingly being duplicated by other flag administrations. The paper explains how by working to an established model the MCA devised a Code of Practice for large commercial yachts, and how that work has continued over the last 16 years, to stay abreast of developments, clarifying some of the Code's original requirements and accommodating changing international convention requirements. © 2013: The Royal Institution of Naval Architects.
HORIZON - Research into effects on cognitive performance of maritime watch-keepers under different watch patterns, workloads & conditions, with reality usage of ships bridge, engine & cargo control simulators
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2008.4.1.2. | Award Amount: 3.82M | Year: 2009
The project will define and undertake scientific methods for measurement of fatigue in various realistic seagoing scenarios using bridge, engine-room and cargo simulators; will assess the impact of fatigue on decision-making performance and will determine optimal settings for minimising those risks to both ship and seafarer. Three simulator-equipped institutes will collaborate in ensuring that enough runs of sufficient duration are undertaken to replicate ship-board conditions of operation, with real-life scenarios of voyage, workload and interruptions. Specialist input from a stress research institute, skilled in transport operations research, will set the requirements for fatigue measurement and determining performance degradation of watch-keepers. Results will be analysed and recommendations made for application by interested parties, including ship owners, maritime regulators and those setting requirements for manning and operation of ships. Output will be a Management Toolkit with software and guidance notes. Involvement of a classification society, seafarer officers union and six stakeholder partners provide expert objectivity of the project and its results, as well as widening routes for dissemination and exploitation. The project addresses concerns over the increasing losses (human, financial and environmental) of maritime accidents which frequently cite fatigue as a contributory cause and thereby resonates with the objectives and impacts of the work programme. This is a major issue at a time when the high demand for shipping capacity has led to shortages of well-qualified and experienced seafarers. The project surpasses past subjective fatigue studies, highlighting the problem, and will produce validated, statistically robust results for use in decision making, using the toolkit of results and findings. HORIZON thereby impacts on the FP7 aims of increased safety and security, reduced fatalities, with a methodology for reducing human error.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST-2007-4.1-01 | Award Amount: 4.17M | Year: 2009
The traditional fire safety regulations that apply to ship design have been widely described as inadequate in two ways. Firstly they do impose unnecessary and inapplicable constraints on novel designs. Secondly novel designs can have features that do not satisfy the premise of existing rules, thereby setting them free from fire safety rules by default, often leading to unsafe designs. In order to remedy this problem the proposed project FIREPROOF would develop a very universally applicable regulatory framework for maritime fire safety based on probabilistic models and numerical models of ignition, growth and impact of fires. The framework would be quite similar in principle to the well established probabilistic damage stability regulation. The methodology of the proposed fire safety regulation is summarized as follows: The methodology would consist of a mathematical model that would generate instances of fire scenarios according to the correct probability distribution of the elements of the scenario. It would also consist of numerical models to assess the consequence of the scenarios so generated. For any given ship - traditional or novel, a large number of scenarios would be generated and their consequences assessed, and the results would be aggregated to give rise to fire risk metrics. Constraints based on such risk metrics would serve as statutory regulations that would be completely applicable to novel and unprecedented designs. It would offer the designer greater freedom on the design while enforcing a greater level of safety.
News Article | January 24, 2016
Two whales washed up near the resort of Skegness on the English east coast on Saturday, said the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). They laid side by side on the beach. A third dead whale appeared on Sunday. They are thought to be from the same pod as a dead whale on Hunstanton beach, 25 kilometres (15 miles) across The Wash bay, which stranded and died on Friday. That young adult male was part of a group of six in The Wash. "It is unknown where the rest of the pod are at this stage," the MCA said Sunday. The whales are around 15 metres (48 feet) long. "We believe that the three whales at Skegness died at sea and then washed ashore," said coastguard Richard Johnson. "We are advising members of the public to stay away from the beach. "We have informed the Receiver of Wreck and we are expecting an officer from the Zoological Society of London to attend the scene and carry out tests on the whales." Doctor Peter Evans, director of the Seawatch Foundation, said the whales probably swam south looking for food but got disorientated. He believed they could have been part of a large pod, some of which beached in the Netherlands and Germany. The sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales, and the largest toothed predator. It can measure up to 20 metres (67 feet) long and weigh over 50 tonnes. It is 10 years since a northern bottlenose whale swam up the Thames in central London, bringing thousands to the riverbanks to see the extremely rare sight. The whale died during a rescue attempt on January 21, 2006. Explore further: Six sperm whales die in rare mass beaching in Australia
News Article | December 31, 2015
It was a field day out on a Dorset beach for fossil and souvenir hunters, where a Jurassic Coast cliff landslide revealed hundreds of prehistoric fossils from about 65 million years ago. A week ago, a massive land mass in the village of Charmouth went collapsing into the sea and brought to the surface the ancient remains of ammonites, or sea creatures now extinct. These sea mollusks, valued for their complex spiral shells, went extinct the same time that dinosaurs did. The remains varied in size, measuring a few inches across or spanning a couple of feet in size. There were also fish and aquatic reptile fossils within layers of mud from millions of years past. "It's the biggest fall I've seen down here for years, if not the biggest,” said Tony Gill of the Charmouth Fossil Shop in an interview, recalling that he looked across the beach and realized it looked “very different” when the fossils first appeared. Gill added that the landslide, which needs the tide to come in and wash all the remaining clay, was so massive that it would take a number of years for the larger blocks from the collapsed cliff to be eroded by the sea. This seems to be good news for those who want more prehistoric fossils, whether locals or visitors traveling from far-flung areas to get their fossil-hunting fix. “We’ve been here about 20 years and we have not seen anything on this scale before,” Gill said. However, he added that there’s probably a one-in-a-thousand chance of landing a big fossil. Fossil Hunters Warned: Do Not Risk Your Life Ancient fossils are a cool thing to own, but hunters are forewarned: do not risk life and limb for that ideal specimen. According to Maritime and Coastguard Agency campaigns coordinator Joanne Groenenberg, the recent substantial rainfall puts some cliffs and cliff edges at risk of instability and crumbling. People are warned to be cautious when walking across the cliffs’ top and bottom sections when taking a stroll during the holiday season. They are also asked to avoid hammering into the cliff and its rocks, but instead pick up specimens found lying on the beach. It is also best to inform the Charmouth Heritage Coast Center for any significant discovery. In recent fossil sightings around the world, the remains of a 25-million-year-old flightless bird was spotted on Vancouver beach in Canada. The rare fossil, found in good condition, was identified by scientists as an unknown type of plotopterid, an extinct species that lived in the North Pacific from the late Eocene to the early Miocene periods. In Red Deer Cave in southwest China, a recently discovered leg bone fossil was believed to be of an early human species that may have lived longer than previously thought and may have even existed along with modern human beings into the Ice Age. The partial femur found in China exhibited characteristics linking it to the most ancient human evolutionary chain members, such as being small, narrow-shafted and with very thin outer shaft layer. Not all experts agreed with the findings, but the authors themselves believed that as in any other case of fossil analysis, more work needs to be done to build a convincing case.
News Article | November 27, 2015
A piece of metal recovered from the sea off the Isles of Scilly in Britain is seen in this handout provided to Reuters on November 27, 2015. Debris from a U.S. rocket, most likely the doomed SpaceX Falcon 9, has been recovered near the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of southwest England, the UK coastguard has said on Friday. Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency said in a statement that a piece of metal alloy was recovered with the help of a local boatman. It measured around 10 metres by 4 metres (13 feet). REUTERS/Maritime and Coastguard Agency/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. IT IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY More LONDON (Reuters) - Debris from a U.S. rocket, most likely the doomed SpaceX Falcon 9, has been recovered near the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of southwest England, the UK coastguard has said on Friday. It was covered in barnacles and was initially mistaken for a dead whale. Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency said in a statement that a piece of metal alloy was recovered with the help of a local boatman. It measured around 10 meters by 4 meters (13 feet). Martin Leslie, coastal area commander, said: "The markings show an American flag. It looks like it's an American rocket and is similar to the unmanned Space X Falcon 9 which blew up shortly after take-off from Cape Canaveral in June." Photographs showed the debris covered in what Joseph Thomas, the boatman, told the BBC were goose barnacles. "There were lots of gulls on the water and I thought initially it was a dead whale and the birds were feeding off it," he said.