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IMCA publishes 2014 DP incident report

Published on 8 July 2016

Seventy one accounts of incidents that took place in 2014 on 54 vessels were submitted for the annual ‘ Dynamic positioning station keeping incidents: Incidents for 2014’ (M 231) report produced by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). These accounts have been analysed, made anonymous and detailed in the report which is online and freely downloadable at
Thruster/propulsion issues proved to be the main cause for dynamic positioning (DP) incidents in 2014 accounting for 36% of such events; followed by computer issues at 18% and power and references both at 13%. Following these as the main cause are human error (10%); external factors (3%) and environment (also at 3%). There were no recorded main causes attributed to electrical failings.
“The level of reporting when compared to 2013 has been maintained; but there is awareness that events are still occurring and not being reported,” says IMCA’s Technical Director, Richard Benzie.”Analysis on the 71 reports submitted by 54 vessels gives an average of 1.31 reports per vessel. As in previous years, the average remains between one and two. If this rate was to be repeated throughout the DP fleet, there should be a much higher number of reported events.”
The reports that were received are categorised within the document as: ‘DP Incident’; ‘DP Undesired Event’; and ‘DP Downtime’. There were 32 DP Incidents, 25 DP Undesired Events; and 14 DP Downtime reports submitted.
Helpful innovations
An innovation to M231 this year is that the comments, initiating event and causes have been incorporated into a spreadsheet for easy comparison.
The spreadsheet “IMCA 2014 DP Station Keeping Event Summary” is available from It invites input from key DP personnel to consider whether the recorded events of 2014 could potentially affect their own vessel by asking the following questions ‘Could this happen on your vessel?’; ‘What, if any, additional safe guards need to be taken?’; ‘Is this covered in the vessel FMEA?’. The spreadsheet further allows for the recording of corrective actions taken such as ‘Recommendations to improve vessel, DP procedures, FMEA and DP drills’.
“These types of report are about learning from experience, so it makes sound sense to encourage anyone looking at them to consider how they, and their vessel, could be affected,” explains Richard Benzie.”Preparation of the 2015 reports is already underway. We encourage all who experience incidents or events to report them to [email protected]; they will be made anonymous and approved by the originating organisation prior to distribution. Help us to help others learn from your experience.”