Challenges for EER Solutions in European Arctic Waters

Berg, Tor E. (Norwegian Marine Technology Research Institute (MARINTEK)) | Selvik, ørjan (Norwegian Marine Technology Research Institute (MARINTEK)) | Rautio, Rune (Akvaplan-niva) | Bambulyak, Alexei (Akvaplan-niva) | Marichev, Andrey (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

OnePetro 

Abstract

This paper discusses the status and development prospects of Arctic escape, evacuation and rescue (EER) solutions in the Greenland and Barents Seas, and briefly describes two recent maritime rescue operations in Norwegian waters. Successful outcomes of maritime EER operations in Arctic waters depend on a number of factors, including design of escape routes, available means of evacuation, distance to available SAR resources, type of rescue units, early information/detection related to maritime accidents, and metocean and ice conditions. Selected items are discussed below.

Introduction

European Arctic waters comprise the areas from Eastern Greenland to the Barents Sea. There are some major differences between preferred escape, evacuation and rescue (EER) solutions for Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Russia. This is mainly due to differences in national EER philosophies, organization and availability of search-and-rescue (SAR) resources. In Norwegian waters, the preferred EER solution is based on governmental SAR helicopters, while ships operated and coordinated by state salvage departments are the most important tools for Russian EER at sea. This difference reflects the distinctions between the Norwegian and Russian Arctic waters in terms of distances, infrastructure and conditions. Norway has approximately 20% winter ?? ice cover, while most of Russia’s Arctic waters are covered by ice in winter. Russia's SAR system in the Arctic is based on icebreakers and ice-class salvage vessels.

This paper discusses the current status of and development prospects for Arctic EER solutions for the Greenland and Barents Seas,and briefly describe how successful outcomes of maritime EER operations in Arctic waters depend on a number of factors such as the design of escape routes, available evacuation means, distance to available appropriate SAR resources, early information about and detection of maritime accidents, and metocean and ice conditions. The challenges we discuss include:
- Traffic surveillance and detection of maritime accidents
- Operability of evacuation means under Arctic conditions
- Transit speed for seaborne rescue vehicles
- Transfer of personnel from lifeboat/life rafts to helicopter or rescue vessel.

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