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IMCA publishes DP station keeping incidents 2009 and requests input to 2010 report

Published on 13 October 2011

The sharing of information on incidents is essential as an aid to improved safety, with each one improving the knowledge base of other organisations undertaking similar activities. This is why the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) publishes an annual report on dynamic positioning (DP) station keeping incidents. The report on incidents in 2009 has just been published (IMCA M 211) and IMCA is requesting that details on any incidents in 2010 not already reported should be submitted as soon as possible.

“We would encourage everyone to report their incidents, the yearly station keeping incident volumes we produce can only be as complete as the data which member, and non-member, companies provide,” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler. “All reports are anonymised and sent for approval to the contributing company before review by the IMCA Marine Division Management Committee and eventual publication. Reporting forms can be downloaded from IMCA Incident Reports Page.

“For the year 2009, 77 reports were received from vessels operated by IMCA members and others, and of these, 75 are included in ‘Dynamic Positioning Station Keeping Incidents (2009)’ (IMCA M 211),” she says. “In the previous few years the number of incident reports received has been higher. However, 2009 sees the first drop in numbers in recent years from 111 in 2008 to 77. Determining the reason for this reduction would be difficult. However, incident free operations and incidents not being reported may be contributory factors.”

Seventy-five reports submitted by 46 vessels were analysed, giving an average of 1.63 reports per vessel. As in previous years, the average remains between one and two, with 14 vessels reporting two or more incidents, and 32 reporting only one. Currently the number of members’ DP vessels operating, according to data supplied by them, stands at 764, a significant increase from previous years.”If the incident rate were to be repeated throughout this fleet there should be a much higher number of reported incidents,” says Jane Bugler. “Although the majority of the fleet may be operating without any incidents occurring, under-reporting is still thought to be occurring.”

The largest percentage for the main cause of incidents in 2009 was reference systems (23%) with many of those submitting reports commenting that reference systems had been a cause for concern. Power (17%), propulsion (16%), human error (13%), electrical (13%) and computer (11%) were the other main causes, with environment (3%) and sensors (1%) at the bottom of the scale. There were some incidents in which it was not possible to determine the main cause, and these have been recorded as cause ‘not established’ (3%). All incidents analysed have been included as they provide useful feedback to the industry from which lessons may be learnt.

As in the previous year’s report neither the range of vessel activity nor the DP class has been analysed as the vessel activity gave an unrepresentative view of the distribution of incidents amongst vessel types and the DP classes and could lead to incorrect assumptions being made based upon this data.

The document is available for free downloading by IMCA members, but printed copies are available at £10.00 for members and £20.00 for non-members from and at [email protected] or from IMCA at 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521.