IMCA DP Station Keeping Information Bulletin

The first IMCA DP event bulletin was published in May 2016. Eight bulletins have been produced since then and 36 individual events have been scrutinised. All received DP station keeping event reports are considered for use in the bulletin so that they reflect current issues affecting the industry. If the information provided is to be used in this way it will be completely anonymous. The IMCA Marine DP Committee plans to continue producing a quarterly bulletin throughout 2018, the next one is due to be published on 1 March.

The ability to feed back to industry in this way depends on DP vessel operators sharing the information they receive from their vessels. This is achieved via the IMCA DP station keeping event reporting scheme.

2017 realised an almost unprecedented level of reporting to IMCA from DP vessel operators. Between 1 January and 31 December 2017, 98 reports were received from 33 member companies. Relevant data from these reports is recorded and analysed as part of the annual review of DP events. In addition, since 2014 IMCA has produced a yearly summary spreadsheet of all received DP station keeping events. Vessel operators can easily reference possible learnings and determine whether their vessels could be affected by means of a simple gap analysis. Less than 20% of received reports resulted in the loss or switching out of automatic DP control. Most reports were classed as DP observations or DP undesired events, meaning that automatic DP control of the vessel was maintained.

Two IMCA Marine Technical Seminars, held in Amsterdam in June 2017 and Singapore in November 2017, provided dedicated sessions that analysed recent DP station keeping event reports received by IMCA. At the Singapore event, the recurring theme from the analysis was the need to improve operational activity planning, including risk assessment and procedures. It was noted that activity specific operating guidelines (ASOGs) should not be just a spreadsheet posted on the bulkhead. Specific planning is required, involving both the bridge and technical departments, with mission-specific personnel consulted as required. Guidance on operational activity planning ([linktopublication imcaid=331) was recently reviewed and published as Rev. 1 in December 2017.

DP vessel operators are encouraged to continue to share all DP station keeping events with IMCA. The IMCA DP event reporting form is used by DP vessel operators for their own internal reporting needs and for reporting to IMCA. As mentioned before, all reports are treated confidentially by IMCA and great efforts are made in this respect.

DP vessel operators that participate in the scheme by providing at least one report during the year are entitled to display a certificate of participation on each of their DP vessels. Certificates for 2017 will be issued shortly.