Accident susceptibility index for a passenger ship – A framework and case study

Jakub Montewka*, Teemu Manderbacka, Pekka Ruponen, Markus Tompuri, Mateusz Gil, Spyros Hirdaris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
119 Downloads (Pure)


The continuous monitoring and assessment of operational vulnerability and accident susceptibility of passenger ships is crucial from the perspective of ship and passenger safety. Despite the existing solutions for vulnerability monitoring, stemming mainly from watertight door operations, a comprehensive framework for accident susceptibility assessment and monitoring is missing in the literature.

Therefore, this paper offers a straightforward approach, utilizing heuristics rooted in the solid foundations of the first principles related to human performance. The proposed approach allows the evaluation of accident
susceptibility of a ship in operation involved in open-sea and coastal navigation. The framework presented is based on observable and relevant factors, known to affect the navigator’s performance, and as a consequence accident probability.

The layout of the framework as well as the parameters of the developed model are based on literature survey in maritime and aviation domains, knowledge elicited from maritime experts and extensive simulations with the use of an in-house developed ship-ship encounter simulator. Subsequently, the model is
applied to selected case studies, involving two distinctive ship types, namely a large cruise ship and a RoPax vessel.

The results obtained for the case study presented in this paper reveal that most of their time the analyzed ships operate with negligible accident susceptibility (87%), while 1% of the cases are labelled as very high accident
susceptibility. The remaining share of 12% is distributed among low, moderate and high values of accident susceptibility. The results are in line with earlier studies conducted in the same area but adopting different

The proposed solution can be applied as an onboard decision support tool, evaluating the operational accident susceptibility and vulnerability, thus increasing the crew’s situational awareness. Additionally, it can be applied
to historical data, allowing ship navigational safety diagnosis and implementation of appropriate countermeasures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108145
Number of pages22
JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • accident susceptibility
  • maritime risk and safety
  • safety of transportation
  • waterways complexity
  • traffic complexity
  • human performance
  • human reliability

Field of art

  • Performance
  • Design


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