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Ship Evacuation Data and Scenarios

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Total project cost
€3 655 826
EU Contribution
€2 100 000
Project website
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Transport mode
Waterborne icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues,
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Call for proposal
Link to CORDIS
Background & Policy context

Passenger response time data is fundamental to ship based evacuation analysis and is a key parameter specified in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) evacuation analysis protocols: MSC Circ 1033 and its successor MSC Circ 1238. Recent research work conducted in the FIRE EXIT project demonstrated that the response time data used in protocol MSC Circ 1033 was not rich enough to accurately represent reality. As such it did not provide a suitable basis either for the use of evacuation simulation programs or for their validation.

The FIRE EXIT sea trials data relating to response times, was submitted to IMO and incorporated within the new evacuation analysis protocol MSC Circ 1238 which replaced the earlier MSC Circ 1033. The old protocol, while limited, was of great use in showing the short comings of present data and showing the way forward.

The collection of human performance data in full-scale ship trials is vital for the calibration and validation of ship based evacuation models. In the February 2007 meeting, the IMO Fire Protection Sub-Committee invited member governments to provide further information on additional scenarios for evacuation analysis and full scale data to be used for validation and calibration purposes of the draft revised interim guideline.


The objective of the SAFEGUARD project was to acquire a large corpus of sea-based data on passenger response times and assembly times.


The data need to be of sufficient size and richness to permit model calibration (in terms of response time distributions), verification, validation (of the assembly process) and to serve as the basis for improved evacuation analysis protocols beyond the MSC Circ 1238 protocol. The data from these trials, along with additional benchmark scenarios, will be reported to IMO in order to review their possible incorporation into future modifications of MSC Circ 1238.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
The European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)


Evacuation model validation data-sets
As part of the project, two evacuation model validation data-sets were collected. The datasets are based on two semi-unannounced assemblies at sea for a RO-PAX ferry with 1349 passengers and a Cruise ship with 2292 passengers. The datasets consist of: response time data, starting location, end location (assembly station) and arrival time at the designated assembly stations. A validation protocol and acceptance criteria are developed based on the collected data. It is proposed that the validation datasets, suggested validation protocol and the acceptance criteria could be adopted by IMO as part of a validation suite to determine acceptability of maritime evacuation models in a future enhancement to IMO MSC 1/Circ 1238.

Passenger response time distributions
The SAFEGUARD project developed a series of passenger response time distributions that were used in passenger ship evacuation analysis. Response time is defined as the time between the sounding of the alarm and the moment when passengers start purposeful movement to an assembly station.

A research and testing was undertaken as part of the project to develop additional scenarios for adoption in a modified set of guidelines for the evacuation of passenger vessels. Through research a set of representative scenarios have been identified, some of which have been tested. It is recommended that scenarios relating to fire, heel and trim are considered to replace the current secondary cases and a more comprehensive list of possible scenarios relevant to the operation of the vessel are considered. A further suggested modification to all scenarios involves taking into account the congestion criteria. It is recommended that the congestion criterion becomes a pass/fail requirement. It is also recommended that the time component is dependent on the maximum assembly time allowed for the ship rather than the predicted assembly time.

Strategy targets

An efficient and integrated mobility system: Acting on transport safety (saving thousands of lives)


Lead Organisation
Bmt British Maritime Technology
Orlando House, 1 Waldegrave Road, TEDDINGTON, UK - TW 118LZ, United Kingdom
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€393 514
Partner Organisations
Color Line Marine As
Leif Weldingsvei 6, 3202 SANDEFJORD, Norway
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€107 071
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Royal Caribbean House, Addlestone Road 2, Weybridge, KT15 2PG, United Kingdom
EU Contribution
€85 856
Safety At Sea Limited
St. Vincent Street, 2Nd Floor 280, Glasgow, G2 5RL, United Kingdom
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€423 727
Bureau Veritas
Boulevard du Château 67-71, 92571 NEUILLY SUR SEINE, France
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€104 066
University Of Greenwich
Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, Greenwich, London, SE10 9LS, United Kingdom
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€728 935
Minoan Lines Sa
25Th August 17, 712 02 Iraklio, Greece
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€90 000
Principia Sas
Zac Athelia 1 Voie Ariane 215, 13705 La Ciotat, France
EU Contribution
€166 832
Memorial University Of Newfoundland
Elizabeth Avenue, St John S AIC 5SZ, Canada
EU Contribution


Technology Theme
Safety systems
Evacuation model validation data-sets
Development phase

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