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UK improves ship accident investigation technology

Tue 18 Apr 2017 by Martyn Wingrove

UK improves ship accident investigation technology
Rembrandt can be used to simulate collisions between two ships

BMT Group has gained a contract to provide simulation programs to the UK government to improve ship accident investigation. The UKs Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has signed an agreement to use Rembrandt software for more enhanced and accurate visual reconstruction of ship incidents.

Rembrandt is a marine navigation and manoeuvring simulator. Its programs will be installed by subsidiary BMT Ship & Coastal Dynamics and will help MAIB to use voyage data recorder (VDR) data to improve the interpretation of accidents in UK territorial waters. It will also be used for investigating accidents involving UK-flagged vessels worldwide, said MAIB technical manager Richard North.

He added: A key and unique attribute of Rembrandt is its ability to automatically input a broad range of VDR data including 3D, radar and bridge audio to deliver a more enhanced and accurate visual reconstruction. This is a critical for the thorough investigation of marine accidents involving UK vessels worldwide and all vessels in UK territorial waters.

BMT has installed the simulator and provided training on the technical aspects and fundamentals of Rembrandt for MAIB personnel. This has allowed them to understand the process of rapid model deployment and to perform simulations for both visual reconstruction, root cause analysis and lessons-learned. 

The program can be used on a desktop, laptop or as a full mission-based simulator, said BMT Ship & Coastal Dynamics managing director Phil Thompson. It comprises a database of hundreds of validated ship models that underpins the validity of one or more ships in a seaway.

The shipping industry is starting to prioritise high quality electronic track data gathering for use in accident investigation, conflict resolution and lessons learned, said Mr Thompson.