An analysis of wintertime navigational accidents in the Northern Baltic Sea

Floris Goerlandt*, Habtamnesh Goite, Osiris A. Valdez Banda, Anders Höglund, Paula Ahonen-Rainio, Mikko Lensu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
363 Downloads (Pure)


Navigational accidents in wintertime conditions occur relatively frequently, yet there is little systematic knowledge available about the circumstances under which these occur. This paper presents an analysis of navigational shipping accidents in the Northern Baltic Sea area which occurred in the period 2007–2013. The analysis is based on an integration of various data sources, aiming to reconstruct the accident conditions based on the best available data sources. Apart from basic accident information from the original accident databases, data from the Automatic Identification System is used to obtain insight in the operation type during which the accident occurred, as well as into other dynamic aspects of the accident scenario. Finally, atmospheric and sea ice data is used to reconstruct the navigational conditions under which the accidents occurred. The analysis aims to provide qualitative insights in patterns and outlier cases in the accidental conditions. Correspondingly, visual data mining is selected as analysis approach, because of its utility in obtaining qualitative knowledge from data sources through a combination of visualization techniques and human interaction with the data. Special attention is given to the strength of evidence of the identified accident patterns. The results are primarily useful for improving risk analyses focusing on oil spill risks in winter conditions and for developing realistic training scenarios for oil spill response operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-84
Number of pages19
JournalSafety Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Accident data analysis
  • AIS data
  • Maritime risk
  • Maritime safety
  • Visual data mining
  • Winter navigation operations

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