Vessel Triage Developed for Maritime Accidents



Finnish authorities have spearheaded the development of a digital method of communicating the condition of a stricken vessel for the salvage industry. A project involving 42 partners from 15 countries has developed Vessel Triage for providing a unified approach of communicating the safety of a ship in trouble to search and rescue personnel, salvors and shipping companies.

Vessel Triage is a colour-coded matrix that should enhance decision-making and improve search and rescue response to maritime accidents. According to Jori Nordström, head of operations with the Finnish Lifeboat Institution, this is also a threat-factor matrix that explains simply the expected future state of a damaged ship.

“Vessel Triage should improve communications and co-operation between different parties in an emergency response,” Capt Nordström said at the International Salvage Union (ISU) conference in London. “It is an assessment of the risks and gives everyone an understanding of the incident and safety of the vessel and people on board.”

The four colours indicate the severity of the casualty ship and the response requirements. Green means the vessel is safe despite being involved in an accident such as a grounding. Yellow means the vessel is safe at that moment, but there is a high risk that the situation will become worse. Red means safety of the vessel is significantly worse and external action is needed to evacuate people on board. Black means the vessel is lost, for example capsized.

The system was presented to IMO’s sub-committee for the safety of navigation, communications, search and rescue earlier in March. However, that sub-committee requested more tests and trials before it considers including it into the Iamsar manual.

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Source: Marine Electronics & Communications


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