Published on 13 December 2022
The International Marine Contractors (IMCA) has published guidance highlighting the hazards of using hold-back vessels during dynamic positioning (DP) operations.
Richard Purser, IMCA Technical Adviser Marine explained why The Hazards of Using Hold-Back Vessels during DP Operations has been published:
“IMCA realises that use of hold-back or push vessels is commonplace in certain parts of the industry, but we feel it is essential to stress the inherent risks of such activity.
“Our newly published IMCA M 260 sets out the pitfalls of using towing and/or push vessels intended to provide additional propulsion force and/or security for DP vessels engaged in critical operations by means of attachment by wire rope or push vessel.
“Due to the potential for unpredictable DP control system response, the use of a hold-back vessel is not something that should form part of normal operational planning for DP operations. However, it may be an option that is forced upon a project team by unforeseen circumstances. M 260 ensures that those considering its use are made fully aware of the risks to which they will be exposed rather than IMCA prohibiting the practice entirely.
“IMCA M 260 enables the project team, operators and Master to consider all the risks and hazards associated when considering the use of hold-back/push vessels and therefore allows the operator to develop an accurate risk assessment of the operation.”
“I must stress that the use of these vessels should not be considered as part of any standard operation. They should certainly not be considered for any type of diving operation.”
IMCA M 260 not only looks in detail at its purpose but also covers risk reduction in operations, assisted DP operations (embracing the motivation behind assisted operations, alternatives, when assistance is unavoidable, hazards, and risk assessment); and selection of the hold-back or push vessel. It also contains an invaluable glossary and concludes with practical considerations and references.
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