Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


GOALDS Report Summary

Project reference: 233876
Funded under: FP7-TRANSPORT
Country: Greece

Periodic Report Summary 2 - GOALDS (GOAL Based Damage Stability)

Project context and objectives:

Recent rapid changes in scientific and technological developments and an overall improved technical capability at a much larger scale are fuelling innovation in the shipping sector to meet the demand of larger, faster, more efficient and safer ships. This is taking place in an industry that is still fragmented and undermanned though intensively competitive and in a society that is more vigilant and more demanding on issues pertaining to life safety and the protection of marine environment. Safety is clearly in danger of being undermined and this necessitates change. This is particularly true for knowledge-intensive and safety-critical ships, like passenger ships and especially mega cruise ships, where the need for innovation creates unprecedented safety challenges that cannot be sustained by prescription. In this state of affairs, a new paradigm that treats safety as a design objective rather than through rule compliance as a constraint ('Design for safety') and a formalised methodology capable of embracing innovation through routine utilisation of first-principles tools, thus leading to cost-effective ways of dealing with safety ('Risk-based design') were advocated by the European Union (EU) maritime industry as the 'bridge' for the emerging gap.

Project GOALDS is targeting the enhancement of the damage stability and safety of passenger ships by use risk-based assessment and design methodologies. The new probabilistic damage stability regulations for dry cargo and passenger ships (SOLAS 2009), which entered into force on 1 January 2009, represent a major step forward in achieving an improved safety standard through the rationalisation and harmonisation of currently in force damage stability requirements. There are, however, serious concerns regarding the adopted formulation for the calculation of the survival probability of RoPax and mega cruise vessels; thus ultimately of the attained and required subdivision indices for passenger ships. Furthermore, present damage stability regulations account only for collision damages, despite the fact that accidents statistics, particularly of passenger ships, indicate the profound importance of grounding accidents. Using state of the art methods and tools, project GOALDS is responding to the above concerns by a series of dedicated in depth research studies of a strong European project partnership.

The objectives of project GOALDS are the following:

- to enhance collision and grounding casualties database; to conduct statistical analysis of data and check the validity of current SOLAS 2009 assumptions for passenger ships;
- to develop an improved formulation for the survival probability in case of flooding accounting for key design parameters of passenger ships and for the time evolution of flooding scenarios;
- to develop a new survivability model for flooding following grounding accidents and to integrate collision and grounding survivability formulations into a single framework;
- to validate the new formulations by experimental and numerical analyses;
- to develop a new damage survivability requirement for passenger ships in a risk-based context;
- to evaluate the practicability of the new formulations by a series of ship concept design studies, including formal multi-objective optimisations.

Upon completion, to submit project results for consideration to International Maritime Organisation (IMO) (October 2012).

Project results:

One of the key objectives of the GOALDS project was to develop an integrated formulation for the assessment of the survivability of passenger ships in damaged condition, combining both collision and grounding accidents. To this end, the following work was conducted:

(a) an update and review of the probability distributions for collision / grounding damage characteristics;
(b) development of an improved method (s factor) for the assessment of ship's survivability due to flooding after collision / grounding for passenger ships, which takes into account Water on deck (WOD) issues;
(c) proposal for an integrated collision / grounding damage stability standard.

The development of the news factor was supported by both numerical simulation studies and an extensive set of model tests. The objective of latter work was to derive experimental evidence on the process of ship stability deterioration after hull breach typical for collision and grounding accidents. For the experiments four sample ships were selected to represent typical passenger vessels (2 ROPAX and two cruise ships).

A key objective of the GOALDS project was to establish new risk-based damage stability requirements of ROPAX and cruise vessels that are consistent with the IMO safety requirement as formulated in the IMO Formal safety assessment (FSA) guidelines. For this, the following work has been conducted:

(a) Development of standard risk models for collision and grounding events of passenger vessels (separately for ROPAX and cruise / passenger ships).
(b) Benchmarking against existing results: a thorough comparison of the GOALDS risk models and accident statistics with previous relevant work e.g. the SAFEDOR FSA studies on cruise and ROPAX ships has been performed as well as a review of statistical material of historical data available from collision and grounding accidents.
(c) Derivation of a new damage stability requirement for collision and grounding based on Cost-benefit analysis (CBA): the participating shipyards provided the sample ships that were used for the cost benefit assessments. Using the developed risk models, the benefit from each explored design change / Risk control option (RCO) in terms of reduction in Potential loss of lives (PLL) was assessed, and subsequently, the effectiveness of the corresponding RCO was evaluating using the IMO 'Cost of averting a fatality' (CAF) criterion. The RCOs that have been found to be within the IMO CAF criterion formed the basis for proposing the level of the required index R.
(d) As an additional result, a proposal for updating the CAF criterion was formulated, considering changes in living standard, inflation etc. from year 1996 until today.
(e) An essential conclusion of this work is that the level of the required index R for passenger ships can be significantly raised based on the results from the CBA.

An additional objective of the GOALDS project was to rationally support the required subdivision index for passenger ships on the basis of systematic optimisation studies of passenger ships of different type and size, while applying risk and cost effectiveness analysis. The exploration of the impact of the new formulation was formalised and automated by the introduction of parametric models along with formal, multi-objective optimisation procedures; it was possible to elaborate numerous design alternatives and this enabled the identification of 'optimum' designs, combining enhanced survivability in damaged condition with acceptable (or even improved) economic characteristics in comparison to the original designs.

In the final stage of the project critical assessments of the new formulation for the survivability and of the new risk-based requirement for damaged passenger ships were conducted, and, after seeking consensus among regarding the new formulations amongst the partnership and flag state administrations participating the advisory committee a proposal for possible amendments of currently in force regulations was submitted for consideration to IMO.

Potential impact:

Expected results

At the end of the project (October 2012) GOALDS presents the following main results:

- developed improved damage statistics for collision and grounding damages of passenger ships;
- re-engineered the probability of survival of hull damages of passenger ships;
- formulated a new integrated collision and grounding damages stability standard;
- conducted systematic experimental and numerical simulation studies of damaged sample ships in seaways;
- developed improved risk models (as part of FSAs) for collision and grounding damages of passenger ships (RoPax and cruise ships);
- conducted a series of cost effectiveness analyses of various RCOs implemented in the conceptual design of a series of sample passenger ships (RoPax and cruise ships);
- developed a new risk-based damage stability requirement pertaining to the safety of passenger ships while demonstrating that the resulted enhanced stability requirements can be met cost effectively;
- developed a series of innovative ship design concepts, meeting the resulted new risk-based requirements, through multi-objective formal optimisation while optimising simultaneously for enhanced safety and cost effectiveness;
- cultivated the close collaboration with strong non-EU partners (United States, Japan) and submitted a series of results to the IMO for consideration in rule making regarding the safety of passenger ships;
- organised a series of public dissemination workshops and generated scientific publications in international conferences and peer-reviewed journals.


The EU community added value is through the further enhancement of the competitiveness of the European passenger shipping and shipbuilding industry, of naval architects, researchers and marine technology providers with respect to the introduction of innovations and optimisation of passenger ship design.

In addition, the submission of results of EU funded projects to IMO (continuing the successful tradition introduced by the Fourth Framework Programme (FP4) project HARDER and later continued by the FP6 project SAFEDOR, FP7 FLOODSTAND and GOALDS) enhances the visibility and importance of the European Union in international, rule-making bodies, like IMO is.

The societal and environmental impact will be through the enhancement of safety of passenger ships with respect to collision and grounding damages which has been linked in a rational way to the human and environment impact at acceptable societal levels.

Project website:


ALATOPOULOU, Despina (Administrative Officer)
Tel.: +30-210-7721740
Fax: +30-210-7724181



Record Number: 56138 / Last updated on: 2014-05-28
Information source: SESAM
Collaboration sought: N/A