Improving communications between vessels could enhance the safety of offshore operations. The previous SAFECO I project laid the groundwork for evaluating advanced information exchange tools such as computer-based collision avoidance systems.
SAFECO II aimed to devise and demonstrate risk assessment techniques for improved technologies and organisation of communications among coastal vessels.
The main objectives of SAFECO II have been:
- to survey previous projects which have been addressing communications in marine transportation, and to identify proposed solutions; additionally to describe solutions (equipment, training schemes, procedures, policies, etc.) for the identified problems;
- to further develop the Collision Avoidance Advisory System (CAAS) to include a transponder interface, and to integrate it with an Electronic Chart Display (ECDIS);
- to further develop the Simulator Exercise Assessment (SEA) system to establish training improvement measures;
- to perform simulator exercises to analyse the effect of providing transponder information;
- to outline the interaction between the proposed solutions, present standards and codes, and total quality operations;
- to develop risk models for the communication process and consequence quantification (fatalities, environmental and economical impacts);
- to evaluate solutions in terms of costs and cost distribution on the parties involved, and in terms of risk reduction;
- to define scenarios for which the outlined solutions can be assessed within a risk analysis framework, and to analyse the defined scenarios with respect to cost/benefit;
- to further develop the Marine Accident Risk Calculation System (MARCS) to demonstrate the use of risk assessment methods for cost/benefit analysis of solutions.
SAFECO II has produced:
- a survey of relevant EU projects on problems of maritime communication and information exchange;
- a structured hazard identification process for the evaluation of risk control options and the development of risk models;
- an intelligent conning display - labelled Collision Avoidance Advisory System (CAAS) - which integrates transponder information into an Electronic Chart Display (ECDIS);
- test runs with maritime simulators to assess and verify risk control options, leading to improved training schemes for crew members;
- fault tree models linked to the Marine Accident Risk Calculation System (MARCS) in order to assess the effectiveness of risk control options and to quantify related implementation costs;
- an update of MARCS, accompanied by the evaluation of three case studies - the Rotterdam port approach area, the North Sea area, and validation against historical accident statistics.
The project's outputs will form the basis for further advisory and consulting services to the maritime industry in order to enhance the safety of shipping in coastal waters. Recommendations on regulatory measures will require action by the EC in conjunction with initiatives by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).