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Fast Ships Safety

European Union
Complete with results
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Waterborne icon
Transport policies


Background & Policy context

The twofold increase in speed of fast ships reduces the response time for ship crews when facing critical situations, and provokes unexpected situations for other fast and conventional ships. To date, these risks have not been covered adequately by national or international regulations regarding navigational, organisational and other aspects.


FASS aimed to appraise on a formal and scientific basis the navigation risk factors and the safety level of fast vessel operations.

The main objectives of FASS have been:

  • to assess the vulnerability of fast vessels when faced with floating objects (containers, tree trunks, etc.), and with regard to severe sea conditions and limited visibility;
  • to assess the lack of accuracy of predictions of sea conditions within some sea areas and the possible conflicts that may result from incompatibilities between safety and efficiency of fast ship operations;
  • to define safety requirements for fast vessel operations and actions to achieve them - such as performance criteria for fast ship navigational equipment, operational procedures enhancing the safety of manoeuvres at sea and in the approaches to ports, and suitable operator training courses and tools;
  • to provide the European maritime community, including competent authorities, with enhanced knowledge in a domain where Europe may expect to play a leading role.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission; Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN; formerly DG VII)
Type of funding
Public (EU)


FASS has produced:

  • an analysis of the growth potential of High Speed Craft (HSC), their main technical features, shortcomings of onboard detection systems, as well as the lack of appropriate certification rules for crew members;
  • a Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) of high speed vessels, defining 13 subsets of hazardous situations for open sea and port areas;
  • PC-based simulations covering collision avoidance scenarios, approach speed constraints and the mandatory readjustment of minimum distances between vessels, e.g. ferries;
  • proposals for revised operational procedures focusing on issues such as collision avoidance, manoeuvrability, man overboard situations, or critical approaches with other vessels;
  • a validation of these proposals using a ship bridge simulator in Hamburg (Germany);
  • a prototype simulator for HSC crew training, implemented at Warsash Marine Centre (UK);
  • an algorithm assigning "performance indices" to so-called risk control options generated by the FSA assessment;
  • an algorithm to calculate those performance indices by characterising the efficiency of measures in hazardous situations.

Policy implications

The study's findings on fast ship safety have been limited to navigational aspects, whereas the complexity of determining factors, such as the vessels' structural design, need to be addressed in further EU-level research.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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