Tsunami-Response Guidelines for Ships

NYK has drawn upon the lessons learned from the tremendous tsunami damage sustained by vessels after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March of last year to create tsunami-response guidelines for ships in port. The guidelines, the first to be developed for Japan, were presented on May 23 at a meeting hosted by the Japan Institute of Navigation.

M.V. Asia Symphony lies on a pier after being hit by tsunami at the port in Kamaishi city

The guidelines detail how a vessel in port should react to information about an incoming tsunami, particularly by giving top priority to preserving life and then minimizing damage to the vessel hull and port facilities. The guidelines will be provided as a reference material to assist ship masters in their decision-making process during their review of the circumstances at the time and the changes likely to be caused by the incoming tsunami.

For the development of the guidelines, vessel-mooring simulations were carried out to better understand the mooring limits of vessels in port during the onslaught of a tsunami. Limits were established based on the simulation results and information maps for tsunami disaster prevention and mitigation published by the Japan Coast Guard in August 2011. Also, on the premise that it would be difficult for vessels to make quick arrangements for pilots or tugboats to assist with departure prior to an incoming tsunami, the control of vessels attempting to leave port without such assistance prior to the tsunami arrival was tested.

NYK will distribute the guidelines to vessels operated by the group to keep them well-informed of tsunami-response measures.

Safe ship operation is the foundation for all NYK business activities and remains our highest priority. In order to prepare for and prevent against conceivable emergencies, NYK will continue to make efforts to further deepen mutual understanding between those on shore and the ship staff, and promote the establishment of safer ship-operation systems within the group.

Source: NYK

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