Managing safe and efficient arctic ship operations with risk-based methods

Browne, Thomas M. (2022) Managing safe and efficient arctic ship operations with risk-based methods. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (7MB)


A ship accident in the Arctic poses risks to the crew and passengers, the environment, Arctic communities, and other Arctic stakeholders. There are life-safety, ecological, and socio-economic consequences that require consideration in the operational risk management and regulation of Arctic ships. The objective of this thesis is to contribute to safe and efficient Arctic maritime operations. A scenario-based Arctic shipping operational risk management framework is proposed that integrates life-safety, ecological, and socioeconomic consequences into the Polar Operational Limit Assessment Risk Indexing System (POLARIS) regulatory guideline. The proposed framework is then developed further. First, a scenario-based life-safety consequence model for Arctic ship evacuations is developed through elicitation of expert knowledge. Then a consequence aggregation method is developed to combine life-safety and environmental consequences of an Arctic ship accident. The development of regulations requires evaluations of the costs associated with regulatory implementation. Complementing the proposed augmentation of POLARIS, a general method to evaluate the operational implications incurred under maritime regulatory constraints is developed. The method combines a ship performance model, regulatory constraint models, and pathfinding and optimization algorithms. Results of the research show that the consequence severity of an Arctic ship accident depends on ship type and accident location. Worst-case scenario ship accidents are those involving cruise ships in regions associated with long response times and oil tankers in environmentally sensitive regions. With respect to the operational implications of regulatory constraints, POLARIS offers operational flexibility over the Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System (AIRSS), but is associated with increased voyage time and fuel consumption. Implications for safe and efficient Arctic maritime operations can be drawn from the research. Vessels that pose higher life-safety and environmental consequences should be operated more conservatively. Continued enhancement of Arctic SAR services and advanced training for all Arctic seafarers will contribute to the mitigation of life-safety risk posed by Arctic shipping. Mitigating the risk associated with Arctic cruise operations is of near equal priority to that of Arctic tanker operations. POLARIS and AIRSS are decision-support tools that support safe Arctic navigation but should not replace competent Arctic crews.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 15479
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: arctic ship operations, consequence modelling, marine policy, risk-based methods
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: June 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Navigation--Risk assessment--Arctic regions; Ships--Risk assessment--Arctic regions; Marine resources--Government policy--Arctic regions.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics