Operational challenges, alternative fuels and safety performance

The final day of Passenger Ship Safety 2017 began with James Langley from Saga Cruises providing the audience with a unique insight into the Beyond Compliance Project which aims to prepare all staff who will be involved with the operation and management of a new ship.  James highlighted the work, and the subsequent actions undertaken to the existing fleet through feedback delivered from passenger user groups. In particular, the audience learnt how Saga Cruises takes into account the physical limitations of passengers when designing and equipping a new ship.

Dave Sherrington (Ultra-Fog AB) explained the construction and fitting of water mist systems on board all areas of a ship and the process by which water mist extinguished fires. He drew attention to the need for regular testing and maintenance to combat poor water quality resulting in stagnation, bacterial growth, lime scale, etc. which can significantly reduce the effectiveness of the system.  He cited the new IMO testing regime and the importance of following its provisions.

The first of the day’s speakers from Carnival Corp, Francesco Casarini, drew attention to the developments in lifesaving appliance technology and size in response to increased passenger ship size.  The use of the alternative design provisions in SOLAS had been necessary to achieve the necessary equivalent level of safety.  The identification of the ‘worst case scenario’ was a key issue in the work and the need for both quantative and qualitative analysis.  The audience were informed very few ships now meet the SOLAS regulations, as drafted, fully due to the use of the alternative design provisions which had led to ‘floating condominiums’.

The meeting went onto discuss alternative fuels, with Yves Bui from MSC Cruise explaining the particular provisions that were being adopted to use LNG as fuel on new-build passenger ships and the approach taken to ensure safety during bunkering operations, including quick connect/disconnect systems; emergency release systems and double-skin hoses.

Energy storage systems, otherwise known as batteries, can provide 15%-20% fuel savings as well as reducing emissions and noise. The audience heard from Espen Kristiansen, PBES, citing one example of a ferry undertaking only a 30-minute voyage where the shore arrangements permitted charging in 6 to 8 minutes of a battery pack the size of approximately 4 x 40 foot containers. Espen shared thermal management strategies to not only increase battery life but also avoid thermal runaway (fires).

Mike Collier, the first of the afternoon’s speakers from Carnival Corp explained the work underway on the development of Man overboard detection systems and their related ISO standards.  The difficulty of testing such systems in both theory and practice was highlighted.  The likely way forward was some combination of technologies (radar, lidar, thermal imaging cameras) but the need for 95% accuracy and low levels of false alarms made equipment design and operation challenging.

The final session of the meeting brought together a panel discussion featuring Dave Smith, Group Commander, Maritime Response and Royal Navy /FRS Liaison Officer, Hampshire Fire Rescue Service, alongside Diederik van Aarsen, Head of Safety, Carnival Maritime and Francesco Casarini, Director – Marine and Safety New Building Department, Carnival Corporation Shipbuilding discussing to ensure safety standards are met whilst cruise ships keep increasing in size.

A lively discussion followed with Diederik van Aarsen, drawing attention to the too high number of fatalities caused during the testing of lifesaving appliances and the work being done by the Carnival Group to address the sometimes-over-complicated designs through a monitoring and control system with a simple red/green stop/go indicator.

The 3-day Passenger Ship Safety 2017  meeting was concluded by chair Andrew Winbow , Former Assistant Secretary-General and Director, Maritime Safety Division, International Maritime Organization (IMO).



Leave a Comment