Journal of Marine Science and Technology

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 201–227 | Cite as

Stability assessment of anchor handling vessels during operations

  • G. R. Gunnu
  • T. Moan
Original article


To ensure safety in anchor handling operations, maintaining anchor handling vessel stability is recognized as a critical and complex task. The vessel’s stability depends primarily on the vessel’s design and operational parameters, which are expressed by the vessel’s dynamic rolling angle, static heeling angle, and capsizing angle. The vessel’s stability during anchor handling operations (AHOs) is possible to attain by means of maintaining the vessel’s heading in line with the mooring line direction. However, lessons learned from past accidents show that normal and abnormal events and gross errors can lead to capsizing. The occurrence of a large deviation between the vessel heading and the mooring line direction due to abnormal events is considered to be an accidental limiting condition. In this study, two stability criteria are established: (1) the critical static heeling angle criterion and (2) the critical rolling angle criterion. The first criterion is useful in the design phase for assessing the vessel’s allowable static heeling angle for a well-defined operational sea state. The second criterion is useful for assessing the vessel’s stability in the analysis and planning phase of the operation. A case study is conducted on the Bourbon Dolphin (BD) accident for assessing the stability in a capsizing scenario. The predicted results show that the BD can maintain stability under normal conditions but not under an accidental condition during anchor deployment. While assessing a vessel’s intact stability, it is essential to account for the effect of normal uncertainty and variability on the operational parameters; this aspect is investigated in this paper through a sensitivity study.


Capsizing Stability Anchor handling vessel Mooring load Criterion Static heeling angle Critical rolling angle Safety Operation 



The authors would like to acknowledge financial support from the Research Council of Norway through SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture, and CeSOS and would especially like to thank Vegar Johansen for his support.


  1. 1.
    Lyng I, Andreassen D, Fiksdal GAH (2008) Official Norwegian Reports: the loss of the “Bourbon Dolphin” on 12 April 2007. Technical Report NOU 2008: 8, Submitted to the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police on 28 March 2008. Oslo, NorwayGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    IMO SDC 3/WP.5. (2016) Finalization of Second Generation Intact Stability Criteria, Amendments to Part B of the 2008 IS Code on Towing, Lifting and Anchor Handling Operations. London, UKGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Vryhof Anchors (1999) Anchor manual 2000. Krimpen ad Yssel, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gibson V (1999) Supply ship operations. Oilfield Publications Limited, LedburyGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hancox M (1994) Anchor handling. Oilfield Publications Limited, LedburyGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Maudsley PR (1995) Operation of offshore supply and anchor handling vessels, 1st edn. The Nautical Institute, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ritchie G (2007) Practical introduction to anchor handling and supply vessel operations, 2nd edn. Clarkson Researches Services Limited, LondonGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gunnu GRS, Moan T, Chen H (2010) Risk influencing factors related to capsizing of anchor handling Vessels in view of the bourbon dolphin accident. In: The international conference on systems engineering in ship and offshore design. Royal Institution of Naval Architects, Bath, UKGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wu X, Gunnu GRS, Moan T (2015) Positioning capability of anchor handling vessels in deep water during anchor deployment. J Mar Sci Technol 20:487–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gunnu GRS, Wu X, Moan T (2012) Anchor handling vessel behavior in horizontal plane in a uniform current field during operation. In: Choo YS, Edelson DN, Mills T (eds) The 2nd marine operations specialty symposium (MOSS 2008). Research Publishing Services, Singapore, pp 307–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gunnu GRS, Moan T (2012) Stability assessment of anchor handling vessel during operation considering wind loads and wave induced roll motions. In: The 22nd international offshore and polar engineering conference. ISOPE, RhodesGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Moan T (2009) Development of accidental collapse limit state criteria for offshore structures. Struct Saf 31(2):124–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kletz TA (2001) An engineer’s view of human error, 3rd edn. IChemE, RugbyGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Reason J (1990) Human error. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Senders JW, Moray NP (1991) Human error: cause, prediction, and reduction. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, HillsdaleGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hollnagel E (1998) Cognitive reliability and error analysis method (CREAM). Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wickens CD, Hollands JG, Banbury S, Parasuraman R (2013) Engineering psychology and human performance, 4th edn. Pearson Education Inc, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nielsen LG (2004) Stevns Power capsizing and foundering during anchor handling operation on 19 October 2003. Tech. Rep. 199940518, Division for investigation of maritime accidents, Danish Maritime Authority, Copenhagen, Denmark, p 59Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Belenky VL, Sevastianov NB (2007) Stability and safety of ships: risk of capsizing, 2nd ed. The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), Jersey CityGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Francescutto A (2002) Sea waves and ship safety-state of art in current regulations. Proceedings of the 12th International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference. International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers (ISOPE), Kitakyushu, pp 150–155Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Francescutto A (2004) Intact ship stability: the way ahead. Mar Technol 41(1):31–37Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kobylinski LK, Kastner S (2003) Stability and safety of ships. Volume I: regulation and operation, 1st ed. Elsevier Ocean Engineering Book Series, Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Neves MAS, Belenky VL, de Kat JO et al (2011) contemporary ideas on ship stability and capsizing in waves. Springer, DordrechtCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Vasconcellos JM, Oliveira NG (2011) Risk in stability evaluation for floating offshore units. Ocean Eng 38(8):967–975CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    ABS (1990) Guide for application of dynamic response based intact stability criteria for column-stabilized mobile offshore drilling units, 1990. American Bureau of Shipping, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    ABS (1997) Rules for building and classing offshore mobile drilling units, part 3; Hull Construction and Equipment. American Bureau of Shipping, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    DNV (1998) Rules for Classification of Mobile Offshore Units, Part 3, Chapter 2, Special Designs, Equipment and Stability. Det Norske Veritas, OsloGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    IMO (1992) Code for the Construction and Equipment of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU Code), 1991 Amendments to the 1979 and 1989 Codes. International Maritime Organization, LondonGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    IMO (2009) International Code on Intact stability, 2008–2009 Edition. International Maritime Organization, LondonGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    LRS (1996) Rules and regulations for the classification of mobile offshore units. Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, LondonGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    NMD (1992) Rules for mobile offshore units. Norwegian Maritime Directorate, OsloGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Martinovich WM, Praught MW (1986) Stability requirements for semisubmersibles: a designers view point. Stationing and Stability of Semi-submersibles: Proceedings of an International Conference. Society of Underwater Technology, University of Strathclyde, UK, pp 3–40Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Mills PJ, Stoneman GS, Wilson TB (1991) Stability of Ships and Mobile Offshore Units. Recent Developments in Legislation. Lloyd’s Register Technical Association, paper no. 7, session 1990–91, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    IMO (2007) Guidelines for the design and construction of offshore supply vessels 2006. International Maritime Organization, LondonGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    De Jong G (2014) New regulations for towing and anchor handling vessels: the future is now. 23rd International Tug, Salvage & OSV Convention and Exhibition, CCH Congress Centrum, Hamburg, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    De Jong G (2010) The class answer to the rapidly developing tug industry. 21st International Tug & Salvage Convention & Exhibition, Vancouver: ABR Company Ltd, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Mantari JL, Ribeiro e Silva S, Guedes Soares C (2009) Variations on transverse stability of fishing vessels due to fishing gear pull and waves. Proceedings of the XXI Pan American Congress of Naval Engineering (COPINAVAL´09), Montevideo, UruguayGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Barltrop NDP (1998) Floating Structures: a guide for design and analysis. Oilfield Puclications Limited, HerefordshireGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    IMO (1985) Resolution A.562 Recommendations on a Severe Wind and Rolling Criterion for the Intact Stability of Passenger and Cargo Ships of 24 meters in Length and over. International Maritime Organization, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Sarchin TH, Goldberg LL (1962) Stability and Buoyancy Criteria for US Naval Surface Ships. Trans Soc Nav Archit Mar Eng 70:418–458Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    IMO (1982) Weather Criteria, Results on Japanese Ships, Submitted by Japan, Doc. SLF/7. International Maritime Organization, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    IMO (2006) Revised Intact Stability Code Prepared by the Inter sessional Correspondence Group (Part of the Correspondence Group’s report): Submitted by Germany, Doc. SLF 49/5. International Maritime Organization, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Japan (1979) Intact Stability, Stability of Ships in Ballast Condition, Weather Criteria. IMCO - Sub-Committee on Subdivision, Stability and Load Lines - 24th session, STAB XXIV/4Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Japan (1981) Intact Stability, Results of Calculation for the Sample Ship. IMCO - Sub-Committee on Subdivision, Stability and Load Lines, STAB/95Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Watanabe Y, Kato H, Inoue S, et al (1956) A Proposed Standard of Stability for Passenger Ships: Part III: Ocean-going and Coasting Ships. J Soc Nav Archit Jpn(99) 29–46Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    USSR (1961) Standards of Stability of Sea-Going Vessels and Coasters. Register of Shipping of the USSR, Morskoi Transport, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Deybach F (1997) Intact stability criteria for naval ships. M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Ocean Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    DNVGL Sesam HydroD (2015) Sesam HydroD v4. 6-03. Det Norske Veritas Software, Høvik, Oslo, NorwayGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Nilsson M (2009) Stability aspects during anchor handling operations. M.Sc. Thesis in Naval Architecture, Department of Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, KTH, Royal Institute of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Fathi D, Hoff JR (2004) ShipX Vessel Responses (VERES). MARINTEK AS, TrondheimGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© JASNAOE 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Ships and Ocean StructuresNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

Personalised recommendations