A framework for risk assessment for maritime transportation systems—A case study for open sea collisions involving RoPax vessels

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Maritime accidents involving ships carrying passengers may pose a high risk with respect to human casualties. For effective risk mitigation, an insight into the process of risk escalation is needed. This requires a proactive approach when it comes to risk modelling for maritime transportation systems. Most of the existing models are based on historical data on maritime accidents, and thus they can be considered reactive instead of proactive.

This paper introduces a systematic, transferable and proactive framework estimating the risk for maritime transportation systems, meeting the requirements stemming from the adopted formal definition of risk. The framework focuses on ship–ship collisions in the open sea, with a RoRo/Passenger ship (RoPax) being considered as the struck ship. First, it covers an identification of the events that follow a collision between two ships in the open sea, and, second, it evaluates the probabilities of these events, concluding by determining the severity of a collision. The risk framework is developed with the use of Bayesian Belief Networks and utilizes a set of analytical methods for the estimation of the risk model parameters.

Finally, a case study is presented, in which the risk framework developed here is applied to a maritime transportation system operating in the Gulf of Finland (GoF). The results obtained are compared to the historical data and available models, in which a RoPax was involved in a collision, and good agreement with the available records is found.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-157
JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
Issue numberApril
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Maritime transportation, RoPax safety, Risk analysis, Bayesian Belief Networks, F–N diagram, Ship–ship collision

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