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Event analysis reveals common causes of DP failure

Published on 5 February 2024

IMCA shares new detailed analysis of Dynamic Positioning (DP) station keeping events reported in 2023.

Dynamic Positioning Station Keeping Review – Incidents and Events Reported for 2023 (IMCA M266), offers a comprehensive review of the 177 separate DP events submitted to IMCA in the last calendar year. These came from 133 distinct vessels.

The analysis provided enables the industry to identify emerging trends, and IMCA to highlight areas which require additional focus, developing targeted guidelines and best-practice. It also feeds into our Continuous Professional Development (CPD) scheme, which has an ongoing focus on professional learning and adherence to the safest DP standards possible among maritime professionals.

Of the secondary, or trigger causes, electrical (29%), mechanical (18%) and human (18%) were most common in 2023. These remain largely consistent with previous years’ trends.

IMCA Contact

Richard Purser
Technical Adviser – Marine

Richard Purser, Technical Adviser, IMCA said: “The popularity of the reporting scheme is a testament to the importance of data sharing in the prevention of DP incidents and the enhancement of the safe and efficient operation of DP vessels, however it is noted that only a small percentage of vessel operator/owners are proactive and more could be achieved if we received more reports. We know of many events that go unreported to IMCA.”

“We’d like to thank everyone who submitted a DP event and played their part in improving safety and performance of DP operations. We hope it will allow Members and others to understand the underlying reasons behind DP station keeping events, develop their own strategies to mitigate their impact, and contribute to the fostering of a culture of safety.”

DP Conference: 21 & 22 May 2024

The full findings will be discussed at IMCA’s upcoming DP Conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 May 2024. The two-day technical seminar brings the DP world together to explore the latest trends, best-practice, and innovation. Attendance is a must for anyone working in DP and early bird ticket rates are available now, with further discounts for IMCA Members.

Richard Purser added: “I’m looking forward to discussing the findings – and what it means for the industry – at our DP Conference in Amsterdam where it will form a key part of our technical programme. For the first time we’ve introduced early bird rates, and we’d encourage Members and others to book as soon as possible.”

Contribute to our DP reporting

For more than thirty years IMCA’s DP station keeping event reporting system has aimed to keep the DP fleet operational, safe, and acceptable to clients and regulators by encouraging improvements in design, procedures, and training.

Both Members and non-Members are asked to submit DP Incident, DP Undesired Event and DP Observations. These are then anonymised and shared with the industry via the IMCA website and in our DP Event Bulletin.

The submission process involves completing a form and providing detailed information regarding the incident and casual factors and supplementary items such as sketches and actions taken.