Risk reduction as a result of implementation of the functional based IMO Polar Code in the Arctic cruise industry

Lead Author Ove Tobias, Gudmestad
Institution Contact University of Stavanger, Norway
Co-Authors Knut Espen Solberg, GMC Maritime AS/University of Stavanger, Clipperveien 4, Buøy, Stavanger, Norway
Theme Theme 5: New Markets for the Arctic, including Trade, Tourism and Transportation
Session Name 5.2 Arctic Tourism: The interplay between supply and demand, culture and environment
Datetime Thu, Sep 15, 2016 11:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text Purpose:
Investigate possible reduction of risk, in the part of the cruise ship industry that has Arctic destinations, as a result of implementation of the IMO Polar Code.

IMO has developed the functional based Polar Code, which will enter into force 01.01.2017. The code requires marine operators to provide lifesaving equipment that ensures a minimum of 5 days survival time. This requirement puts additional strain on the existing life-saving appliances.

AECO conducted a table top exercise in Iceland in April 2016. The exercise explored the availability and response time for responders in case of an Arctic cruise ship incident. The exercise was conducted as a joint venture between major expedition cruise ship operators (AECO members) and responders, including relevant coastguards and emergency coordination centers.

The fullscale SARex exercise is to be conducted in the marginal ice zone North of Svalbard. The exercise is to explore the gap between conventional SOLAS approved safety equipment and the functionality of safety equipment required by the IMO Polar Code, with a special focus on the minimum 5 days survival time requirement.
The exercise is a joint venture between the University of Stavanger and the Norwegian Coast Guard.

Based on the AECO table top exercise and the SARex exercise, this paper is to assess the effect of the IMO Polar Code on the risk picture associated with cruise activity in the Arctic region. This includes assessment of challenges associated with:

• Cold climate evacuation
• Evaluation/survivability when utilizing different types of personal survival equipment
• Evaluation/survivability when utilizing life raft versus life boat
• Evacuation from survival craft to rescue vessel

The findings are to be assessed in the light of the search and rescue resources available in the Arctic region in addition to the IMO Polar Code functional requirement of minimum 5 days survival time.
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