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IMCA publishes 2015 DP station keeping events and incidents report

Published on 3 November 2016

The predominant main cause for dynamic positioning (DP) station keeping events and incidents for 2015 was thruster/propulsion, according to the recently published International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) ‘Dynamic Positioning Station Keeping Review: Incidents and events reported for 2015’ (M 233). This repeats the 2012, 2013 and 2014 findings.

The second cause was ‘computer’ with ‘environment’ in third position, and ‘human factor’ and ‘power’ in joint fourth.

For 2015 a total of 80 DP station keeping reports from 59 vessels were received from IMCA members, and others, operating DP vessels, giving an average of 1.36 reports per vessel. All have been analysed and included in the annual report. The level of reporting compared to 2014 has been maintained, however there is awareness that DP incidents and undesired events are still occurring and not being reported.

“We would urge all DP operators to submit reports, as it is only by doing so that others benefit from lessons learnt,” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Richard Benzie. “IMCA DP station keeping event reporting is secure and confidential, the reports are used to provide anonymous information to the DP industry to improve the overall safety of DP operations.

“The review of the reporting and analysis is ongoing with the aim of developing an improved reporting scheme. This year comments, initiating events and causes reported by users have been incorporated into a spreadsheet for easy comparison. This enables vessels to readily compare actual events with the situation onboard their DP vessel.

“DP station keeping reports are welcome from both IMCA members and non-members alike. There is an IMCA DP station keeping event report form available from /media/259443/dp_station_keeping_event_form.pdf but reports can be accepted in company or other formats.”


The reports received in 2015 have been categorised by means of the definitions on the IMCA DP station keeping incident report form:

  • DP incident: Loss of automatic DP control, loss of position or any other incident which has resulted in, or should have resulted in, a ‘Red Alert’ status
  • DP Undesired Event: Loss of position keeping stability or other event which is unexpected/uncontrolled and has resulted in, or should have resulted in, a ‘Yellow Alert’ status
  • DP Downtime: Position keeping problem or loss of redundancy which would not warrant either a ‘Red’ or ‘Yellow’ alert, but where loss of confidence in the DP has resulted in a stand-down from operational status for investigation, rectification, trials, etc.

There were 20 DP incidents, 49 DP undesired events, and 11 DP downtime reports submitted in 2015.