Vessel train operations have impact on various safety aspects. They would concern the safety aspects of the vessels as a platform, the safety of the crew working on board of these vessels and the safety of other vessels and waterway infrastructure. NOVIMAR researched these aspects.

Shipborne systems
Ships operating within a vessel train needed to be equipped with systems that support this mode of operation. Critical was the command-, control- and communication system used to navigate and manoeuvre the ships. It needed to operate error free and be protected against cyberattacks.

Other shipboard systems also required additional safety modes. NOVIMAR performed risk analysis to identify needed functions like: reliability, redundancy, monitoring of critical shipborne systems such as propulsion systems, and provisions for reconfiguration in case of loss of one of these systems.

Operating a vessel train changed certain operational procedures and tasks performed by the crews. To identify them, a task analysis and a human reliability assessment has been carried out, making use of expert opinion, full bridge mission simulation and other techniques. This led to deeper insight in training and education needs.

Waterway operations
Operating a vessel train required specific skills, experience and operational procedures to safely navigate the inland waterways and the coastal areas. Simulation were carried out to assess and define theses aspects.

An important safety aspect was the danger coming from the necessary actions that must be taken by the vessel train in case of abnormal behaviour of the encountered vessels, unexpected river conditions or adverse weather.

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