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The importance of reporting DP station keeping incidents

Published on 18 April 2013

Accurate station keeping is essential for dynamically positioned (DP) vessels, and learning from others’ experiences of incidents is vital.

Ian Giddings, Technical Adviser (Marine) at the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) will be speaking on the importance of IMCA Station Keeping Incident Reporting at the DPBrasil, the 1st Brazilian Conference on Dynamic Positioning, being held in Rio de Janeiro 23-25 April 2013.

“In my presentation I will be looking at the long-established IMCA system for station keeping incident reporting for DP vessels, and the subsequent analysis of these incidents and preparation of our annual station keeping report,” he explains.”I will be looking at some of the incidents which have been reported and analysed and the trends that we have identified.

“Naturally, I will be highlighting some of the lessons learnt and actions taken to prevent recurrence of the incident; and highlight changes to and benefits from our reporting system. And, above all, I will be urging all involved with DP to report incidents, for learning from others and sharing information is a key element in improving safety levels.”

IMCA’s database of incidents on DP vessels extends back over more than 30 years and they strongly encourage participation by all DP vessel operating companies for mutual benefit. Each year reports received are collated and an anonymised analysis of the incidents is published.

Through this work, they help establish trends and common causes/potential hazards that can be addressed in discussion with vessel operators, equipment suppliers, training establishments and others, as well as in their published guidance. The results have helped to keep the DP fleet operational, safe and acceptable to clients and regulators by encouraging improvements in design, procedures and training.

IMCA publishes a variety of guidance documents, setting out industry good practice based on the cumulative experience of our members to help ensure safe and efficient operations. A key document is the Guidelines for the design and operation of dynamically positioned vessels, which is regularly reviewed and updated to reflect technological developments and operational achievements, and which can be downloaded from the IMCA website at free of charge to members and non-members alike.

Other documents address annual DP trials programmes (IMCA M 190 and IMCA M 191) for DP vessels, based on comprehensive and standard report formats for ease of use by vessel operators and their clients. The association also produces technical reports, aimed at helping vessel operators review, specify, maintain and use a variety of positioning systems, thrusters, power and vessel management systems and other equipment.

IMCA’s South America Section – April meeting
IMCA ‘s five regional sections – Asia-Pacific, Central & North America, Europe & Africa, Middle East & India, and South Americas – provide a forum for members to address local issues, network and both learn about and contribute to the association’s global work programme.

The quarterly IMCA South America Section will be held on Friday 26 April 2013 from 09:00 at the Windsor Guanabara Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. Following the section meeting a workshop (open to all) will be held on the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006. This workshop will begin at 10:30. Attendance is free of charge, but those who intend to attend are asked to contact [email protected] with full contact details.

The South America Section holds quarterly meetings for members to discuss IMCA’s global work and local issues, together with guest presentations on a wide variety of topics relevant to those active in the region.

Members in the region elect representatives to serve on each of the association’s committees that direct the world-wide work programme, who also organise regional sub-group meetings to address specific local issues and feed back into the relevant global committees where thought useful by members.

Further information on the DPBrasil is at