The effect of the operational environment on the survivability of passenger ships

Francesco Mauro, Dracos Vassalos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


The in-force probabilistic framework for passenger ship survivability assessment covers collision hazards. The framework primarily pertains to a static approach. Nonetheless, more complex dynamic analyses usually employ the same damage definitions, adding besides the breach characteristics, the environmental condition selection or, more precisely, the irregular wave environment necessary to simulate the damage scenarios. The traditional dynamic approaches to survivability consider only the significant wave height sampled from statistical formulations, with the wave period deriving from a constant steepness assumption. However, wave height and period influence ship dynamics in waves differently, especially concerning survivability after damage. Therefore, aiming at a direct assessment of ship survivability and the probability of loss of lives determination in realistic operational scenarios, it is essential to properly study the influence of combined variations of wave height and periods and their occurrence. The present study proposes a methodology for dynamic simulations in site-specific conditions derived from the Global Wave Statistics. The study documents the process in two critical collision damages for a reference passenger ship, using wave height and period combinations typical of the main sea areas of interest for passenger ships and performing a sensitivity analysis on the simulations needed to evaluate survivability. This enhanced analysis allows identifying the limiting environmental conditions for the critical damage cases, including the effect of heading variations, determining the ship's survivability to specific damage in an operational area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114786
Number of pages22
JournalOcean Engineering
Early online date17 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • capsize
  • damage stability
  • irregular waves
  • operational safety
  • sensitivity analysis
  • survivability


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