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SARex Assessment of Polar Code Requirements Through a Full-Scale Exercise

Author(s): Knut Espen Solberg; Ove Tobias Gudmestad

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Abstract: IMO has developed the functional based Polar Code, which will enter into force 01.01.2017. The code requires marine operators to provide lifesaving equipment that ensures a minimum of 5days survival time. This requirement puts additional strain on the existing life-saving appliances. The Objective of the SARex full scale exercise (April 2016) is to identify and explore the gaps between the functionality provided by existing SOLAS approved safety equipment and the functionality required by the Polar Code. This is to be done through an exercise that is conducted together with the Norwegian Coast Guard, leading experts from industry, governmental organizations and academia. The exercise is to be along the lines of a “Maxim Gorkiy scenario” where an expedition cruise ship sinks in the marginal ice zone off the coast of Svalbard. Relevant polar conditions, incorporating sea ice, sea swell, low air and water temperatures and remoteness will be simulated. The polar conditions will generate additional polar specific challenges on the exercise participants and lifesaving equipment that is to be identified and assessed. The following topics are to be addressed in the exercise that is to take place in the marginal ice zone of the coast of Svalbard late April 2016:1. Functionality of life-raft/life-boat under polar conditions. 2. Functionality of personal life saving aids (e. g. thermal protection/survival suits). 3. Additional training requirements for crew& passengers. 4. Evaluate Coast Guard’s search and rescue procedures, including handling of massevacuations in Polar Regions. The report from the exercise will be presented atIAHR International Symposium on Ice.

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Year: 2016

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