Jan 18, 2012
Marine Forensic Process Questions
Regardless of whether it is a recent wreck investigated by the national authorities or an old ship being studied by amateurs, the Marine Forensic Process has the same elements:
A. Determine How the Ship was Constructed
– Design rules in force at delivery – IMO and RINA
1. Use of longitudinal bulkheads in passenger ships (lists, raking damage)
– General Arrangement plans of the vessel,
– Structural plans
1. Continuity of structure
– Machinery plans
1. Separation and location of machinery and electrical spaces.
2. Component permeability
– Tankage plans plus data
– Lines plan
1. Design has not changed much in 100 years
3. Crew (are there enough to man with reduced crew mentality)
4. Simplified Evacuation Plan for ships
– Securing of the furnishings.
B. Establish Departure Condition
– What was the documented liquid loading of Concordia prior to the incident?
– The condition of the tankage upon departure (possible free-surface effects)
– What were the stores loading prior to sailing?
– Drafts fore and aft, list and trim
– What was the vessel’s GM and location of KG at time of sailing (Trim and
– Where were the loading instructions of the vessel and were they followed?
C. Voyage Conditions
– Were there any propulsion, electrical, or auxiliaries systems or components that
were non-functional before the incident?
– Weather and current conditions
– Geological analysis of rock imbedded in ship (igneous, metamorphic,
– Type of and contents of the navigation system
1. Contour of seabed where ship rests (Accuracy of charts)
2. Global Positioning System (GPS)
D. Establish the Incident Timeline.
– Was the ship accelerating it speed in area of collision (squat phenomenon)?
– Survivor testimony (especially technical crew members)
– Black Box recovery (modern vessels are required to carry these)
– Damage control team (if it existed) actions
– A full survey of the vessel to determine the damage – port and starboard
1. Need to sort out initial damage, hitting bottom-after-capsize damage,
salvage and rescue cuts, and follow on damage due to wind/tides
E. Analysis and report
– Access to start-of-art analysis tools
– Access to specialist experts
– Prepare report
– Recommend changes to design process, rules or operating procedures