Global ship accidents and ocean swell-related sea states

With the increased frequency of shipping activities, navigation safety has become a major concern, especially when economic losses, human casualties and environmental issues are considered. As a contributing factor, the sea state plays a significant role in shipping safety. However, the types of dangerous sea states that trigger serious shipping accidents are not well understood. To address this issue, we analyzed the sea state characteristics during ship accidents that occurred in poor weather or heavy seas based on a 10-year ship accident dataset. Sea state parameters of a numerical wave model, i.e., significant wave height, mean wave period and mean wave direction, were analyzed for the selected ship accident cases. The results indicated that complex sea states with the co-occurrence of wind sea and swell conditions represent threats to sailing vessels, especially when these conditions include similar wave periods and oblique wave directions.

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