Marine Accident Response
Appropriate actions taken following a marine accident can greatly reduce loss of life or damage to the environment. This is particularly the case for very large passenger ships where flooding and maintenance of stability and systems that can safely evacuate large numbers of passengers (from a wide demographic within difficult conditions harsh environments and where there may be limited search and rescue capability) are critical. Despite improvements, fires on board passenger, roro and containerships continue to be a regular occurrence, which sometimes require external intervention for passenger and crew evacuation and on certain occasions could remain uncontrolled for days before being extinguished. Such interventions cannot be assured and are not always effective with consequent risk to personnel and the environment. The specific challenge is to develop solutions that address these risks and which can be reflected within forthcoming revisions of relevant IMO Rules. International cooperation to draw upon global experience and facilitate common positions that are founded upon joint research is considered particularly valuable.
To address these challenges, proposals should address one of the following subtopics and clearly indicate which one they are addressing:
- Subtopic A): To be implemented through Research and Innovation Action. Linked to a forthcoming revision of IMO rules and with a focus on passenger ships, research will address probabilistic damage and consequence safety assessment and actions to control damage and maximise stability following grounding and contact damage. The widest possible accident and design data from all relevant types of ship and damage should be sourced, processed, interpreted for passenger ships and used within probabilistic models. Retaining open access to data is encouraged. Consideration should be given to validation of such models through simulations and model tests. The optimisation of watertight doors in terms of their operation, their role as a watertight boundary and the risk they pose to personnel should also be considered.
- Subtopic B): To be implemented through Research and Innovation Action. Research will address a radical re-think of evacuation systems for passenger ships having a high passenger capacity. Next generation of life saving systems should be developed that are "deskilled" to facilitate safe and swift operation on a damaged vessel within stressful environments and which are suitable for large numbers persons from a wide demographic range within poor or extreme weather conditions. Together technical solutions developed to TRL5 and their demonstration, social and behavioural aspects need to be considered.
- Subtopic C): To be implemented through Innovation Action. With an emphasis on passenger and crew safety for all types of roro ships, research should address risk, design, ignition, detection, extinguishment, containment and regulatory issues so as to greatly enhance the prevention and management of fires at sea without recourse to external intervention. Solutions should be developed that are subject to experimental validation and demonstration and should include both operational and design risk control options. Special consideration needs to be given to fires originating within all types of roro decks.
- Subtopic D): To be implemented through Innovation Action. With an emphasis on container vessels and crew safety, research should address risk, design, detection, firefighting and regulatory issues so as to greatly enhance the prevention and safe management of fires at sea without recourse to external intervention. Special attention should be given to fires occurring within the cargo area where relevant risk control options should be presented, analysed and the effects of their application validated though computer simulation and model test.
In line with the Union's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation international cooperation is encouraged.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 7 and 12 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
To TRL5, innovative technical solutions which significantly improve the safety of shipping will be developed and demonstrated. Activities will provide a technical basis and proposals for the revision of relevant international IMO safety rules. With respect to damage stability, establish a large body of evidence that can provide a sound basis for probabilistic models, free water effects and realistic procedures and systems to maintain stability sufficiently to enable safe evacuation within all reasonably foreseeable circumstances. Concerning evacuation, activities will develop and demonstrate a system that is intuitive, as far as possible automated and fail safe so that it is operable without significant training. The system must enable the timely safe evacuation of large numbers of persons from a wide demographic range in adverse conditions. Considering several recent on board fires, the developed solutions will enable similar on board fires to be detected swiftly and tackled safely without recourse to external intervention. International cooperation with important shipping nations will facilitate common science based understandings and a global approach to marine safety. Contribute to UN's Sustainable Development Goal 14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources and the target to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds.
- Socio-economic science and humanities
- Open Science
- International cooperation