Safeguarding the future of the maritime industry
An EU-funded programme of research led by BMT Group Ltd, which evaluates the effectiveness of ship evacuation models, is safely underway.
Project Safeguard is addressing requirements recently highlighted by the IMO Fire Protection Sub-Committee, which specify the need for more information on additional ways of evacuating a vessel during an emergency.
Currently the IMO MSC.1/Circ. 1238 evacuation policy sets out how long it should take to evacuate passengers and crew from a ship in the safest possible way. These timings should then be tested during four scenarios - two during the day and two during the night. Using data from sea trials, alongside computer simulations of ship evacuations, Safeguard will then investigate whether more scenarios need to be conducted to ensure the safety of crew and passengers.
The total budget is just over €3.5m, with the European partners receiving funding from the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme, and the Canadian partner funded by the Newfoundland and Labrador Research & Development Corporation and Transport Canada, Marine Safety.
BMT Group is working with eight other partners on the project, each with the following roles:
- The Fire Safety Engineering Group (part of the University of Greenwich) are developing fire scenarios and will verify these and the flooding scenarios being developed within the project. The Fire Safety Engineering Group with The Marine Institute Offshore Safety & Survival Centre (part of the Memorial University) are performing the sea trials and providing analysis and validation of ship data.
- Bureau Veritas, the safety standards compliance expert, is responsible for providing enhanced scrutiny of data and accident analysis.
- PRINCIPA, the engineering support specialist, is verifying the fire and flooding scenarios.
- Marine stability experts Safety at Sea Ltd are developing flooding scenarios and verifying these and the additional fire scenarios.
- Color Line Marine AS, Royal Caribbean International and Minoan Lines Shipping SA are providing passenger vessels to use during the project, as well as directly working alongside partners on the sea trials.
Jenny Gyngell, Project Manager at BMT Group, said: "Safeguard are proud to continue the work started in this exciting project, the results of which will lead to modification of the (IMO MSC Circ 1033) though research on realistic passenger response times. We hope that the results of the Safeguard project will again lead improvments in maritime safety and changes to IMO regulations."
Jan Helge Pile, Project Director of Color Line Marine, said: "At Color Line, we realise that there will always be room for improvements based on better knowledge. In capturing this information, a crucial aspect of this project has been the involvement of other stakeholders in order to validate conclusions, and provide additional support.
Safeguard presents an opportunity to show and demonstrate the effectiveness and accuracy of evacuation simulation as well as providing us with better knowledge. The overall objective has been to give a realistic analysis of an onboard emergency."
Antoine Breuillard, Fire and Evacuation expert for Bureau Veritas (BV), said: "BV has worked on advanced evacuation analysis for more than a decade and is constantly on the lookout for new and improved simulation tools. However, these simulation tools require a dataset generated from evacuation demonstrations for validation purposes."
He added: "As Safeguard will provide these validation scenarios, BV sees it as a crucial project that will give greater confidence in the results of available software. This will allow ship designers around the world to design innovative, but safe, passenger ships thanks to a better prediction of the evacuation performance."