Many maritime emergency situations involve drifting vessels, and tools to predict drifting patterns have been developed by meteorology institutes, class societies and research companies. It is important to be able to predict a vessel’s drifting path and to estimate when it will drift into waters where grounding is a possible outcome. Such a prediction tool would provide valuable input to the planning of an emergency towing operation to prevent the vessel from grounding or to reduce the impact of the grounding.

In this paper we present the outcomes of a study that investigated the drifting pattern of a vessel with an engine shut-down in the Barents Sea. As part of the ongoing A-Lex project [1], MARINTEK has prepared a VeSim [2] model to investigate the drifting path of a cargo vessel. The outcomes of the study will be used to draw up a technical specification for work to be done to develop an improved ship drift model in Norwegian Meteorological Institute’s (MET Norway’s, [3]) new Halo platform [4]. An improved model will be of great help to those planning emergency towing operations and for positioning of emergency preparedness units with respect to the traffic situation (especially tracks of vessels carrying dangerous goods) and weather forecasts.

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