Recently, ships have been getting larger and larger in size thanks to the development of cutting-edge technology and the shipbuilding industry. Accordingly, the traffic route of each port needs deeper water level and wider fairway width while port areas demand bigger facilities.
As ships become larger, mutual intervention increases between the ships departing and arriving at the port, whereas ship handling performance declines due to deep drafts. The challenge of ensuring safe ship operation reveals the limitations of countermeasures during emergency cases.
The north port of Incheon is specifically famous for its strong current, narrow fairway, and many curved fairways, which are brought about by its geographical structure where many islandsexist around the fairway. Therefore, the maximum size of a calling vessel has been restricted to full-loaded 70K DWT Panamax vessels until now although half cargo-loaded VLCC will call the port in the future.
This study reviewed the surrounding conditions of the Dongsudo fairway in various ways and evaluated arrival and departure safety in consideration of the VLCC’s maneuvering characteristics through ship handling simulation.
For study method, Incheon North Port’s five weak waters around Budo, Baekam Lighthouse, Bukjangjaseo, Incheon Bridge, and SK Dolphin were set based on ship handling simulation results conducted in the VLCC arrival and departure familiarization training course for Incheon Port pilots using “the marine transportation safety diagnosis research to enhance SK Energy/Incheon CLX No. 3 Wharf berth capabilities” conducted in 2013. This study analyzed and evaluated proximity and passing speed in the five weak waters by setting them as evaluation factors.
This study presents the standard of safe passing by evaluating the passing handling status of the VLCC based on the data implemented in a virtual space using a simulator. However, the findings of this study cannot be used as the basis to judge the status of mistakes/errors on the ship handling accidents of similar ships because the standard cannot be absolute.
Many difficulties exist in patternizing, standardizing, and making numerical values of ship piloting since ship piloting is a highly subjective work. However, the analyzed and evaluated data indicate the average data of many results, which can show a pattern.
Consequently, the data analyzed in this study are expected to be effectively utilized in the VLCC’s calling at the Incheon North Port.