Ship grounding

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The United States Coast Guard performing rescue operations for a ship grounded near St. George Island, Alaska

Ship grounding is a type of marine accident that involves the impact of a ship on seabed or waterway side.[1] It may result in the damage of the submerged part of the ship’s hull and in particular the bottom structure, potentially leading to water ingress, which may compromise the ship's structural integrity, stability, and safety.[2][3] Severe grounding applies extreme loads onto ship structures.[4] In less severe accidents, it might result only in damage to the hull; however, in most serious accidents, it might lead to hull breaches, cargo spills, total loss of the vessel, and, in the worst cases, human casualties.[5]

From a global perspective, grounding accounts for about one-third of commercial ship accidents all over the world[6][7] and it has the second rank in frequency, after ship–on–ship collision.[8]

Grounding, depending on the maneuvers of the master before the impact, may result in the ship being stranded. Depending on the nature of the relief of the seabed at the location, i.e., being muddy or rocky, different measures have to be taken to release the ship and transport it to a safe harbor.

Investigating the causality of grounding accidents, there are many factors that are believed to contribute to the accident, such as current,[9] darkness,[10][11] tide,[11] visibility,[6][7] wave,[9] wind,[6][7][9] depth [6][7][12] and geometry of the waterway;[9][11] age,[8] size [6][7][8] and type of the vessel;[6][7] speed,[12] and human and organizational factors;[6][13][14][15][16][17] However, the effects of most of the causal factors have been considered anecdotal, without evidential support.[18][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mazaheri, A., Montewka, J., Kujala, P., (2014), "Modeling the risk of ship grounding - A literature review from a risk management perspective", WMU-Journal of Maritime Affairs, Vol. 13, No.2, pp.269-297, doi: 10.1007/s13437-013-0056-3
  2. ^ Mazaheri, A., and Ylitalo, J., (2010), “Comments on geometrical modeling of ship grounding”, 5th International Conference on Collision and Grounding of Ships (ICCGS), June 14th - 16th, Espoo, Finland
  3. ^ Montewka, J., Krata, P., Goerlandt, F., Mazaheri, A., Kujala, P., (2011), “Marine traffic risk modelling - an innovative approach and a case study”, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part O, Journal of Risk and Reliability, Vol.225, No.3, pp.307-322, doi: 10.1177/1748006X11399988
  4. ^ Pedersen PT Collision and Grounding Mechanics. In: Proceedings of WEMT '95', Copenhagen, Denmark, 1995. The Danish Society of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
  5. ^ Mazaheri, A., Goerlandt, F., Montewka, J., Kujala, P., (2012), “A decision support tool for VTS centers to detect grounding candidates”, International Journal of Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation, Vol.6, No.3, pp.337-343
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Kite-Powell HL, Jin D, Jebsen J, Papakonstantinou V, Patrikalakis N (1999) Investigation of Potential Risk Factors for Groundings of Commercial Vessels in U.S. Ports. International Journal of Offshore and Polar Engineering 9 (1):16-21
  7. ^ a b c d e f Jebsen JJ, Papakonstantinou VC (1997) Evaluation of the Physical Risk of Ship Grounding. Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
  8. ^ a b c Samuelides MS, Ventikos NP, Gemelos IC (2009) Survey on grounding incidents: Statistical analysis and risk assessment. Ships and Offshore Structures 4 (1):55-68
  9. ^ a b c d Briggs MJ, Borgman LE, Bratteland E (2003) Probability assessment for deep-draft navigation channel design. Coastal Engineering 48:29-50
  10. ^ Fujii Y, Oshima R, Yamanouchi H, Mizuki N (1974) Some Factors Affecting the Frequency of Accidents in Marine Traffic: I- The Diameter of Evasion for Crossing Encounters, II- The probability of Stranding, III- The Effect of Darkness of the Probability of Collision and Stranding. The Journal of Navigation 27 (2):239-247
  11. ^ a b c Lin S-C (1999) Physical Risk Analysis of Ship grounding. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  12. ^ a b Quy NM, Vrijling JK, Gelder PHAJMv, Groenveld R (2006) On the assessment of ship grounding risk in restricted channels. Paper presented at The 8th International Conference on Marine Sciences and Technologies - Black Sea Conference, Varna, Bulgaria, September 25th-27th
  13. ^ Amrozowicz MD (1996) The need for a probabilistic risk assessment of the oil tanker industry and a qualitative assessment of oil tanker groundings. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  14. ^ Amrozowicz MD (1996) The Quantitative Risk of Oil Tanker Groundings. Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
  15. ^ Brown A, Haugene B (1998) Assessing the Impact of Management and Organizational Factors on the Risk of Tanker Grounding. Paper presented at the 8th International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference
  16. ^ Martins MR, Maturana MC (2010) Human error contribution in collision and grounding of oil tankers. Risk Analysis 30 (4):674-698
  17. ^ Praetorius G (2012) Safety within the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Domain - Understanding the role of the VTS for safety within maritime traffic management. Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg
  18. ^ Mazaheri, A., Montewka, J., Kujala, P., (2013), "Correlation between the Ship Grounding Accident and the Ship Traffic - A Case Study Based on the Statistics of the Gulf of Finland", International Journal of Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation, Vol.7, No.1, pp.119-124, doi: 10.12716/1001.07.01.16
  19. ^ Mazaheri, A., Montewka, J., Kotilainen, P., Sormunen, O. V. E, Kujala, P., (2014), "Assessing grounding frequency using ship traffic and waterway complexity", Journal of Navigation, doi:10.1017/S0373463314000502