EU-Project Flooding Accident Response (FLARE) started



The number of cruise ship passengers is increasing on worldwide basis and in the European waters the RoPaX ships deliver a very significant contribution to the human and cargo mobility inside the European Union. The design and construction of such passenger ships is an important market for the European maritime industry.

As defined in the Horizon 2020 call of the European Union under the Topic Marine Accident Response, appropriate actions taken following a marine accident can greatly reduce loss of life or damage to the environment. This is particularly the case for very large passenger ships, where flooding and maintenance of stability and systems that can safely evacuate large numbers of passengers are critical. Linked to a forthcoming revision of IMO rules and with a focus on passenger ships, research will address (1) probabilistic damage and consequences, (2) safety assessment and actions to control the damage and (3) maximise ship stability following grounding and contact damage with active measures, thus enabling a safe evacuation, if deemed necessary.

In order to contribute to this development a group of 21 European key stakeholders [1] from maritime industry, research, and academia recently submitted a research proposal FLooding Accident REsponse (FLARE) in response to the HORIZON 2020 call Mobility for Growth of the EU. The consortium was awarded ca. 9.4 M€. The project FLARE officially started on June 1, 2019 and continues until May 2022.

Most of the FLARE consortium members have been involved in ship flooding risk research for over twenty years. This offers a unique knowledge base and capability to support targeted new developments and expedite implementation. The overriding objective is to develop a risk-based methodology for 'live' flooding risk assessment and control, starting from the necessary prerequisites in ship design for potential emergency, and extending to risk assessment and control in operation, and further to prepared response in flooding incidents, typically related to potential collision or grounding. The project will focus on cost-effective risk containment in emergencies, with potential application to both newbuildings and existing ships. It is planned to develop a proposal for the revision of relevant IMO regulations towards a risk-based approach to contain and control risk in passenger ships subject to potential flooding incidents. Thus the results of FLARE will increase safety for passenger ships by developing a risk-based methodology for “live” flooding risk assessment and control.

In this project the HSVA is going to concentrate on numerical simulations of the flooding process on RoPaX ships and as well as on the corresponding evacuation simulations on board the ship in various damage cases. Further the HSVA will play an active role in the evaluation, verification and demonstration of the effect of active mitigation measures in flooding cases, first with numerical simulations and later with model tests on the damaged vessel in seaway for verification and demonstration purposes.

[1] BAL, Germany  & Univ. Strathclyde (MSRC) (Coordinators), Aalto Univ., Brookes Bell, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, Carnival, Color Line Marine, DNVGL, Fincantieri, HSVA, ICAM Nantes, Lloyd’s Register, MARIN, Meyer Werft, Meyer Turku, NAPA, SEA Europe, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, RINA Services, RCCL and Stena Line.