Ship Handling & Tug Effectiveness Risk Assessments

Alberfield Risk has conducted a number of port risk assessments that have involved quantitative assessment of the risks related to the handling of bulk carrier ships entering and departing a port. 

The risks of loss of control of a ship are significant — with grounding, potential blockage of port access, collision with port facilities, other ships, and the environmental release of hydrocarbons into the sea — all being possible outcomes from a loss of control scenario.  The risk is managed primarily by the skills of the pilot, ships crew and the tug crews that are charged with the safety of the ship. 

A key factor is the physical capabilities of the tugs that provide assistance with the ship handling in the berthing and departure manoeuvres.  At the slow speeds involved, the ships cannot achieve the necessary manoeuvres unaided.  Quantitative assessment of the tug capabilities (in regards to pulling and pushing forces) to safely control the ship in these scenarios is necessary to ensure the tugs are suitable.

For further information on this and other matters regarding Risk Engineering contact Mike Dean at Alberfield Risk on 08 9221 4396 or

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