As part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, a new three-year research project has been launched in order to explore the safety and efficiency of Arctic Ship operations. Through this investigation SEDNA will be developing a new risk based approach to testing Arctic navigation, ship design and maritime operations.
During recent years, the number of shipping operations in Arctic regions has increased significantly. Alongside this, ice cover has been reducing because of the effects of global warming. The reduction of ice cover could lead to a potential to cut down on voyage times, there are also a range of new challenges that are faced by the seafarers and vessels on these routes. These challenges include extreme variations in temperature, the icing of essential equipment on the voyages, remoteness and the rapidly changing sea ice covers and a lack of search and rescue infrastructure in place that could pose a real threat to passengers and crew on these ships.
The challenges that are faced on these journeys are made worse by the lack of infrastructure in place for sea ice forecasting. Also acting as an exacerbating factor for the challenges involved is the lack ship bridges that have been specifically designed for the Arctic as well as the frequent absence of Arctic-specific training undertaken by the navigation crew.
SEDNA, through their development of an innovative approach to Arctic navigation, will be addressing these problems in a number of different ways. To start with the organisation will develop a new Safe Arctic Bridge that will be human-centred operational environment to be used on ice-going vessels. SEDNA will also work on the development of de-icing solutions, cutting down on the risk to safety caused by a build-up. The organisation will also work to create a new risk based safety including a range of hazard scenarios, their definition and likelihood and the consequences associated. SEDNA will also work on installing a dynamic meteorological and oceanographic data and will propose a CEN Workshop Agreement to address safety on Arctic shipping operations.