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MSc International Shipping &Transport Logistics

LGT5054 Maritime and Port Risk Management

Maritime Risk Management - An Analysis on Xiamen Port

Group members

AU Wing Yin Alex (05744862g)

CHEUNG Pak Yan Jacqueline (06751629g)
CHU Wing Kit Gary (05704317g)
LAU Cho Tim Jolly (05745508g)
LI Chi Keung Francis (05752978g)
YIP Ka Man Mandy (05703960g)

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The data sources of the accident cases and figures mainly come from Xiamen Port Authority
and one famous shipping line. Those data are recorded verbally and there is no exact figure
published to the public.

ALL information should be used for this assessment ONLY and should not be disclosed.

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This paper presents the Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) study on Xiamen port. FSA is a
structured and systematic methodology aiming at enhancing maritime safety. It has been
gradually and broadly used in the shipping industry nowadays around the world.

On the basis of analysis and conclusion of FSA methodology, this paper discusses quantitative
risk assessment and generic risk model in FSA, especially frequency and severity criteria in
port safety and ship navigation, with accident records of Xiamen port. Finally, the analysis of
the findings gives significant factors for the improvements in managing the risks of port traffic.


In the past, maritime safety management was usually initiated by accidents occurred. It has
now become necessary to take an aggressive approach toward safety that aims to identify
hazards and then to control them. This has to be undertaken in a way that constantly updates
identification and mitigation of risks in any process or organisation.

Port safety is a shared concern and also a joint enterprise which involves many players, with a
cast that extends far beyond the port operator and its customers. The management of risks in
the port is a changing, widening field. One that has moved from the maritime risks of moving
ships in shallow water and the health and safety of port workers takes in many issues and
involves many interests.

The ports of China have been developing at an annual growth rate of over double digits in past
years. Along with the development of China's economy, both domestic trade and foreign trade
are growing significantly. Xiamen port is one of the busiest ports in China and is very close to
Hong Kong port and Taiwan ports. There has been a strong volume increase in ocean freight

According to the data collected pertaining to the accident record of Xiamen port, the number of
accidents has been significantly increased during the period of year 2004 and 2006.

The following of this paper, firstly, provides a literature review. The data analysis from
Xiamen port is then conducted by using the concept of Formal Safety Assessment. Finally a
review of the accident statistics is carried out on the purpose of assessing the marine traffic

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Literature review
Risk management is a continual process that involves long-term dedication of organizations.
Ongoing risk assessment involves gathering, communication, and evaluation of information
that helps in developing appropriate risk management strategies. 1

The process of managing risk is achieved through the systematic application of policies,
procedures and practices to identify, analyse, evaluate, treat, monitor and communicate risk.
Formal Safety Assessment (FSA), which is a structured and systematic methodology aiming at
enhancing maritime safety and improving safety in ports, introduced by the International
Maritime Organization (IMO).

FSA is a structured and systematic methodology, aimed at enhancing maritime safety,

including protection of life, health, the marine environment and property, by using risk analysis
and cost benefit assessment. FSA can be used as a tool to help in the evaluation of new
regulations for maritime safety and protection of the marine environment or in making a
comparison between existing and possibly improved regulations, with a view to achieving a
balance between the various technical and operational issues, including the human element,
and between maritime safety or protection of the marine environment and costs. 2

FSA consists of five steps:

1. Identification of hazards (a list of all relevant accident scenarios with potential causes
and outcomes);
2. Assessment of risks (evaluation of risk factors);
3. Risk control options (devising regulatory measures to control and reduce the identified
4. Cost benefit assessment (determining cost effectiveness of each risk control option);
5. Recommendations for decision-making (information about the hazards, their associated
risks and the cost effectiveness of alternative risk control options is provided).

Trbojevic and Carr (2000) demonstrated the use of FSA to improve port safety. By illustrating
the use of FSA in analyzing vessel groundings analysis, they discussed the stepwise approach
of FSA for safety improvement of port operations. As a quantitative risk assessment, the FSA
requires that levels of risk are quantified in a matrix of probability and consequence.
Consequently, one of the critical steps in the safety assessment procedure is the requirement for
determining the probability of each accident. 3

Darbra and Casal (2004) conducted a study and observed that 57% of the accidents occurred
during transport (i.e. moving ships) and 44% of accidents in ports were caused by an impact
(i.e. collision). Although port operations are often considered dangerous, they found that the
likelihood of loss of life in a fatal accident in a port is lower than in a natural disaster. 4

Banham (1994) highlighted that the age of vessels appears to play a major role in vessel
accidents. According to the ILU, 92.5 percent of tanker and 97 percent of bulker losses in 1992
were attributable to ships at least 17 years old at the time of loss. The average vessel age per
ton of total cargo losses was 19 years for tankers and 20 years for bulkers. 5
Zsidisin, G.A., Panelli, A. and Upton, R. (2000), Supply Chain Management, Vol. 5 No. 4, p. 187
(Trbojevic, V.M., Carr, B.J., 2000. Risk based methodology for safety improvements in ports. Journal of
Hazardous Materials 71 (1–3),
Darbra, R.M., Casal, J., 2004. Historical analysis of accidents in seaports. Safety Science 42 (2), 85–98.
Banham, Russ. Risk Management. New York: Feb 1994. Vol. 41, Iss. 2; pg. 30, 5 pgs
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The other most attended problem has been the contribution of the human element that is
whether shipboard or shore-based personnel to the occurrence of marine accidents. 6

FN-curves are a graphical presentation of information about the frequency of fatal accidents in
a system and the distribution of the numbers of fatalities in such accidents. They plot the
frequency F (N) of accidents with N or more fatalities, where N ranges upward from 1 to the
maximum possible number of fatalities in the system. Values of F for high values of N are
often of particular political interest, because these are the frequencies of high-fatality

Moloney, S. (1993), “IMO told prevention is better than cure”, Lloyd’s List, 15 Sep
Transport fatal accidents and FN-curves: 1967-2001, University College London, 2003
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Xiamen is located at southeast coast of the PRC in the Fujian province at the midpoint along
the route between Shanghai and Hong Kong. It is multifunctional and comprehensive port
including eight port zones- Dongdu, Haicang, Songyu, Easter Port Zone, Passenger Port Zone,
Zhaoyin, Houshi and Shima.

Map of Xiamen Port Region


Due to its geographical location, Xiamen is affected by monsoon winds blowing from the
northeast in winter, and from the southeast in summer. The prevailing wind is northeasterly
(41.5 percent), and the mean wind speed is 2.2 meters per second (m/s). During the wet
summer monsoon, the Xiamen region frequently experiences typhoons, with high winds and
heavy rains. The port experiences three typhoons in average per annum. The annual rainfall in
Xiamen is 1,181 millimetres’, mainly in the spring and summer seasons. Fog is experienced 22
days per year in average.

Tide and Wind Speed

The port approaches directly from the Strait of Taiwan through routinely dredged channels.
Tides at Xiamen are semidiurnal, with a mean range of 3.98 m. Maximum surface current
velocities are on the order of 1.2 - 1.4 m/s, with average surface speeds of approximately 0.65
m/s. The port area is well protected from waves generated in the open sea, and within the
harbour area the main consideration is locally generated waves, which are usually less than 0.5
m high. The maximum wave height recorded in the vicinity of Dongdu is 1.6 m (1 in 10 year
return period). Natural sedimentation rates are low (up to 40 centimetres per annum) and
dominated by fine silts overlaying fine sands and silty clay on a bedrock of heavily weathered

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Channel and anchorage areas in Xiamen:

There are several Channels in Xiamen, and all governed by the Channel Management of
Xiamen Port Authority. The main access for vessels to the berths at Xiamen ports is Xiamen
Deep water Channel (maximum depth 16M). The others are Zhao Yin Channel (maximum
depth 8.1m), Hai Cang Channel (maximum depth: 13m), Dong Du Channel (maximum depth:
12m), Tong Yi Terminal Channel (maximum depth 3.2m), Xing Lin Channel (maximum depth
3.5m) and Gao Qi Channel (maximum depth 1m).9 Anchorage areas are along the channel and

The channel extension is performing for the purpose of logistics, tourist development and
attracting more deep draft vessels to Xiamen port, 10 and the dredging program has been
commenced from 2006 and will be completed at the end of 2008. 11

Terminals in Xiamen:

Xiamen port has more than 7 developed bulk cargo/container terminals, 2 ferry terminals, some
piers nearby the industrial areas, and anchorage areas along the channel and terminals.

The below is the Location Map of Main Terminals in Xiamen Municipality:

Location Map in Main Terminals in Xiamen


• XHCT- Haitian Container Terminal

• XYCT- Xiangyu Container
• XICT- Haicang Container Terminal
• XRCT – Hairun Container
• TYCT- Tongyi Container Terminal
• DUCT – Dongdu Container

Land reclamations and dredging for developing the passenger and cargo terminals (container /
bulk) are in process until 2008. 12

Channel Notice: Xiamen Port Marine report [2007] No.5 from Xiamen Port
http://www.moc.gov.cn/ Ministry of Communication of People’s Republics of China – Marine department
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Vessel Traffic and Throughput

In 2006, Xiamen port ranked the 7th busiest port in China and 22th in the world. It is also one of
the pilot ports for direct shipping with Taiwan.13 Its container throughput was sharply
increased within these 5 years from 1.75 million TEUs in 2002 to 4.02 million TEUs in 2006.
In terms of the total number of vessels berthed at Xiamen Port, it has been surged from 18,883
to 26,553 vessels, as 40.62 % increased within 5 years14.

The below are the total number of vessels and throughput at Xiamen from 2002-2006:

Total Number of Vessels Berthed at Xiamen Port 2002-2006

30000 26553
25000 20751 21266
No. of Vessels

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Total Throughput at Xiamen Port 2002-2006

4000000 3342859
3000000 2331077

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Source : Xiamen Harbour Bureau

Port Characteristics

As per the above information, the key characteristic of the Xiamen maritime environment can
be summarised in four points:

1. High and increasing traffic volumes in ports.

2. Wide variations in vessels size and type: container ships, general cargo ships, bulk
ships, passenger ships, fishery ships, program ships, etc.
3. High density and wide range type of terminals and piers in port due to its economic
4. Outside channels being affected by weather.

According to the increasing trend of vessel traffic and port development programs in Xiamen,
it can be forecasted that the risks of the maritime accidents will probably be increased.

Xiamen Harbour Bureau
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Based on those numbers of Xiamen port accidents, Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) is chosen
for the risk assessment of this project. FSA is commonly a used tool for maritime risk analysis
that can help evaluating the new maritime safety regulations and environment protection or
making comparison between existing and modified regulations.

Step 1 - Hazard identification

According to the below table, these are the scenario of the hazard identifications in Xiamen
which causes the loss of life and properties by marine accidents:
Table 1: HAZID: Xiamen Port

Scenario Caused by: Outcome / Hazard Consequences

Damage or loss of life and property /
water come to hull due to cracks or high seas /
may cause the grounding of other
Sinking vessel damage due to external forces / tonnage Vessel sink
vessels during the bad weather
overloaded / pumping system out of order

equipment problem or overloaded / improper Damage or loss of life and property /

Fire/ fire and explosion on
stowage of hazardous cargo/ human mistakes/ may cause the engine failure/ collision /
explosion board
natural environment (e.g. lightening), etc grounding / oil leakage

vessel listed to one side Damage or loss of life and property/

poor stowage / improper ballasting / ballasting
Listing / with large angle or may cause the collision / grounding of
system out of order/ vessel damage by external
capsize capsized due to their vessels during the bad weather
forces/ human mistakes
instability conditions

human error/ lack of communications between Damage or los of life and property/
vessel collided with
collision vessels or concerned parties in ports/ bad vessel may list/ sink / out of control/ oil
other vessel (s)
weather /vessel out of control / etc leakage

Engine vessel cannot be

Engine damage by external factors / out of order This may cause the collision/ grounding
failure/ controlled because of
due to wear and tears of the vessels
problem engine problem

Propeller and related engine failure/ oil

human error / vessel out of control / vessel grounded / ship
Grounding leakage / vessel may list/ capsize during
unidentified objects in sea bottom damaged
the bad weather conditions

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Step 2 - Assessment of risks

In order to evaluate the maritime risk factors of Xiamen port, the data of Xiamen marine port
accidents is collected from 2004 to 2006.
Table 2: Marine Accidents in Xiamen – 2004-2006

involved /
Date Vessel Name Nature of Accidents Type of Vessel Facts and Results No. of
dead or

was entwined by fish net nearby

12/01/2004 Xin Jin Long Engine Failure Passenger Ship 33 / 0
anchorage No.4

09/01/2005 Xin Ji Yuan Grounding General Cargo Ship Tidal problem 12 / 0

Min Yu Long 2571 vs
27/01/2005 Collision / Sinking Fishery Ship Min Yu Long 2571 Sank 13 / 0
Zhe Yu Ji 96
05/02/2005 Mao Shen Engine Failure General Cargo Ship Vessel out of power 15 / 0
24/04/2005 ChengGongYou 6 Grounding Passenger Ship Grounded 138 / 0
Inclination 10 degree due to cargo
26/02/2006 BM2 Listing General Cargo Ship 14 / 0
stowage problem
06/04/2006 Min Hui Yu 8099 Sinking Fishery Ship Sank in bad weather 22 / 0
Jin Hai Da 8
02/05/2006 Collision / Sinking General Cargo Ship Jin Hai Da 8 Sank 12 / 1
Zhe Tong Ji 139
Vessel out of control because it was
Engine Failure/
18/05/2006 Rong Yu 11 Reefer Ship entwined by Fish net in Typhoon 5/0
Rong Xing 8 Collision, XieTong 107 damaged with
14/06/2006 Collision General Cargo Ship 20 / 0
Xie Tong 107 400x500mm hole
Unknown vsl vs General Cargo Ship Fishery ship collision & sinking by
19/06/2006 Collision / Sinking 5/0
MinJinYu 0181 Fishery Ship Unknown vessel in dense fog weather
Vsl grounded with the unidentified
15/07/2006 LUCKY (pseudonym) Grounding Container ship objects on her way to Xiamen near to 10 / 0
Explosion and Fire in Engine Room, out
21/07/2006 ShenJiShun Fire/ explosion Fishery Ship 3/0
of control
22/07/2006 WanShun 688 Collision / Sinking General Cargo Ship General Cargo ship sank 6/0
MinYunYu 0028 Fishery Ship
06/08/2006 Collision / Sinking MinYunYu 0028 Sank 6/3
ZheXinHai Oil Tank
11/08/2006 XinJinLong Engine Failure Passenger Ship Vessel Foundered 46 / 0
MZZH 0299 General cargo ship
21/08/2006 Collision / Sinking Wooden ship sank in Channel. 3/0
Unknown Wooden ship
Jin Hai Da 18 vs General Cargo Ship
23/08/2006 Collision / Sinking Jin Hai Da 18 sank 8/3
CSC Ningbo Container Ship
MinLongYu 5817 vs Fishery ship
19/10/2006 Collision / Sinking Fishery ship sank 5/2
Unkonwn vsl Container ship
22/11/2006 HuiEHui 903 Listing Engineering ship vessel Listed 6/1
21/12/2006 Min ZhangYu 5569 Sinking Fishery ship vessel sank due to bad weather 21 / 0
23/12/2006 HuaHuang 1 Grounding Container ship Grounding around light buoy 4/3
MinLongYu 153 vs Fishery ship Collision without any damage. One of
24/12/2006 Collision 3/0
Pilot 10 Pilot ship person rescued
TOTAL: 410 / 13

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Based the marine accidents in Xiamen from 2004 to 2006 listed in Table 2, the majority of the
accidents and involved type of vessels are analyzed and ranked in Table 3 and Table 4:

Table 4: Type of Vessels involved in Marine Accidents in

Table 3: Type of Accidents in Xiamen (2004-2006)
Xiamen (2004-2006)
Number of Number of
Rank Type of accidents percentage Rank Type of vessels involved percentage
cases vsl involved
1 Collision + Sinking 8 35% 1 General Cargo Ship 11 37%
2 Engine failure/ problem 4 17% 2 Fishery Ship 9 30%
2 Grounding 4 17% 3 Container Ship 4 13%
3 collision 3 13% 4 Passenger Ship 2 7%
4 Listing 2 9% 4 Engineering Ship 2 7%
5 Sinking 1 4% 5 Reefer Ship 1 3%
5 Fire/ explosion 1 4% 5 Oil Tank 1 3%
  Total case: 23 100%   Total vessels involved: 30 100%

Table 5 contains a list of the 6 fatal incidents occurred in Xiamen port during the period 2004 –
2006. The fatalities data from this list have been used to produce the f-N curve presented in
figure 1.

Table 5

Xiamen Port
Number of Accumulated per
Marine Accident Accumulated
Fatalities (N) year

1 2 6 2.00
2 1 4 1.33
3 3 3 1.00

FN-curve for Xiamen Fatal Marine Accidents 2004-2006

Annual Frequency of N or

more fatalities

1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5
Number of Fatalities N

Figure 1

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As per the above analyse, there are some common facts, causes and outcomes being found:
1. Most of the accidents were mainly related to the general cargo ship (37%) and fishery
ship (30%) collided with other vessels.
2. There are total 39% vessels sank accidents with fatal result were caused by the collision
(48% in total).
3. 2 out of 23 cases related to their engines were entwined by fish net.
4. 4 out of 23 accidents happened due to bad weather (typhoon, fog, strong wind and
5. Vessel grounded (17% of total cases) were due to unawareness of objects in sea
(floating, swift or on the sea bed).

Case Study

In order to have a further in-depth study on the port risks in Xiamen, two case studies were
conducted and illustrated in details as below:

Case study 1 – Vessel Collision

CSCL NINGBO collided with Chinese registered cargo ship JIN HAI DA 18.15

Case Background

Time: 2315 on 23rd August, 2006

Location: 24° 10.5’N 118°17.0’E
Weather condition: fine, with east-north easterly wind at force 3.
Visibility: 7 NM
Current: NW2.8knots

Vessel Particulars:


LOA 260.05M 67.96M
Breadth 32.25M 9.8M
Summer draft 12.6M 3.8M
Type of Vessel Container Ship Cargo ship (2 cargo holds
which contained 1500 tons
of steel products at the
moment of collision)


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Picture of JIN HAI DA 18

Causes of collision

According to Collision Regulations (COLREGS) Rule 15, in crossing situation, “when two
power driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the
other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances of the
case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel.”.

In this case, two ships were crossing so as to involve risk of collision. Jin Hai Da 18 was a
give-way ship whereas CSCL Ningbo was a stand-on ship. Jin Hai Da 18 failed to comply with
Rule 15 to keep out of the way of CSCL Ningbo in the crossing situation.

Under Rule 8 Section (e), if necessary to avoid collision or allow more time to assess the
situation, a vessel may slacken her speed or take all way off by stopping or reversing her
means of propulsion. However, CSCL Ningbo, being a stand-on vessel, failed to comply with
rule 8 of COLREGS to take early action to slow down, stop or reverse her engine in order to
avoid collision. She altered course to starboard to 149ºT at 2310 with a view to avoiding

As a result, two vessels were collided about 24º10.5’N 118º17.0’E and the time of the collision
was 2315.

Tracks of CSCL Ningbo and Jin Hai Da 18

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Outcome and Consequences

CSCL Ningbo sustained minor damages on the hull at the port side but Jin Hai Da 18
immediately sank after collision. Five crew members were rescued and 3 were found missing.
All victims were come from Jin Hai Da 18.


As the duty crews were dead in this accident, no one can find out the reason why Jin Hai Da 18
did not give a way to CSCL Ningbo

Besides, the traffic at the entrance to Xiamen was monitored and regulated by Xiamen VTS.
The area where the accident happened was under the surveillance of Xiamen VTS and the
tracks of the ships involved in the collision were recorded by its radar.

However, CSCL Ningbo is VTS (Vessel Traffic Service) Participating ship and Jin Hai Da18
was not participating VTS. Should Xiamen VTS be responsible for this accident ?

Case study 2 – Vessel Grounded

Accident in Xiamen nearby water: LUCKY (pseudonym)

Case Background

Time/ Date: 2100/15th July 2006

Vessel grounded at position: 24°21’.97 N, 118° 28’.13’E
Weather condition: fine
Wind: BF5 (BEAUFORT SCALE - Moderate breeze)
Wave height: 4 (DOUGLAS SCALE – Moderate)

Vessel particulars:

LUCKY (pseudonym)
LOA 330M
Breadth 42M
Summer draft 15M
Type of Vessel Container Ship

Vessel condition

Vessel was not fully loaded with draft 13m.

She was on her way from Ningbo to Xiamen port.

Causes of grounding

1. The navigation map showed that the water depth was 17.5m and 25m in People’s
Republic of China and British map respectively.

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Navigation Map – issued by
the Chinese Navy
x Headquarters, Peoples’
Republics of China. (Mark X
is the location of accident).

2. An unidentified object was found in the accident area, which was 11x12x15m under the
sea surface. The said unidentified object was a rock with variation height, with the top
point which located at 24°21.960’N / 118degree28.145’E, 11 meters under the sea

Outcome and consequences

LUCKY was grounded at location 24°21’.97 N, 118° 28’.13’E

The vessel was damaged, including its fuel oil tanks, water ballast piping, sea water double
bottom and diesel oil double bottom. The flat bottom was cracked on about 107M long, 50 to
80cm wide and at 11m from the keel.


The grounding position is in the water near to Jinmen, which is governed by Taiwan Province,
3.2NM from the coast, 17Nm from Xiamen Channel.

The accident was happened on the way and near to Xiamen port and it is the usual way passing
by for vessels from Northern China ports to Xiamen. All surveys were carried out by a Xiamen
company and discussed with Maritime Safety authority Head Office in China, but due to
geographical and political issue, no one knows who should care about the big rock in the water
which is 3.2NM from the coast of Jinmen island and it is the usual way from North China ports
to Xiamen port. (Please note that Taiwan is not under the United Nations as UN treat Taiwan
is a Province of China).

Map of Xiamen, XiaoJinmen and

Jinmen Dao. JINMEN DAO


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Evaluation of risk factors

Based on the above accident data and two case studies, the reasons of accidents are identified
as follows:

1. Most of the small vessels were involved in the accident, because:

i. The Masters of the local general cargo / fishery ships were not fully trained
and/or had less experience than the foreign trade vessels master.
ii. They did not respect to the restrictions of nautical priority and they had less
awareness to the alert signal from the other vessels.
iii. They did not consider other channel users. For instance, they have a mind of
luck to pass through the way quickly and selfishly throw their fish net in the

2. Port authority – seldom prosecution for rule breakers.

3. Vessel Traffic System in Xiamen is not the most updated one, and the workers in the
center are not fluent in speaking English. They are also not fully monitoring VTS in
order to avoid any accident.

4. Poor communications between VTS centre and the other related parties (e.g. pilot,
crew on board, etc) cause incidents happened (e.g. grounding) because of
misunderstanding among themselves.

5. There are plenty of charted / uncharted objects in port water, e.g. rocks, doubtful mine
areas, fish net, sank ship, residue of sea wall, etc as per the navigation map.16

6. Xiamen outer channel is greatly affected by the weather.

7. Marine accidents may cause the environmental problem in Xiamen, e.g. the oil
leakage from vessels and salvage operations due to collision.


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Step 3 - Risk control options

Devising regulatory measures to control and reduce the identified risk, in terms of frequency,
probability, severity, as above is discussed in this step.

I. Channel and Berth Safety:

1. Suggesting Xiamen port authority to perform ultra sounding along the channel and update
the information on navigation map.

2. Removing the identified objects by dredging/ salvage equipments and ships.

3. Apart from re-drawing navigation map and removing the objects on seabed, Xiamen Port
Authority should consider identifying objects in port water by using international standard

II. Execution and Education:

4. Suggesting Xiamen port authority to enforce the execution of the existing rules and
regulations, e.g. international practice (COLREGS) and the maritime rule in China. The
execution reference can be found from other international ports i.e. Hong Kong, Singapore
and Korea.

5. As most of the local small vessels are not under VTS controlled, more training programs
and license updating program for the local ship master should be taken into consideration
in order to arise the awareness of respective nautical priority, regulations and proper
mindset can also avoid most of the cases of collision. 17

6. Adopting the program of enforcing vessels (e.g. dredging, mud-sucking, sand ships) to
apply license from Xiamen Port Authority before starting port development program in
Xiamen within the restricted time frame and areas.

III. Advanced Technology & VTS in Xiamen:

7. Updating the VTS in Xiamen by replacement and strictly requiring vessels to install the
very high frequency (VHF) radiotelephone and Automatic identification system (AIS) for
local vessels communication and location identification.

8. Employing professional and experienced people who can speak fluent English to monitor
the VTS and communicate closely with vessels within the port area.

9. Providing regular meeting between VTS centre, pilots and other marine departments.

IV. Governance of water:

10. Suggesting the Ministry of communication of Peoples republics of China to communicate

with Taiwan Province frequently in order to have a better information flow in Taiwan


Page 17 of 20
Step 4 - Cost and Benefit assessment

Simple ranking is chosen as determining cost effectiveness of each risk control option. The
aim of setting these criteria is based upon the frequency and consequences of the accidents in
Xiamen in order to minimize marine accidents and identify the most cost effectiveness risk
control options.

Channel and Execution and Advanced Governance of

Berth Safety Education Technology & VTS water

Effectiveness of
3 4 2 1
avoiding accidents

Safe and navigable

4 2 3 1

consideration and
2 3 1 4

Province Government
3 4 2 1

Programme and
3 4 2 1

Total 15 17 10 8

Step 5- Recommendations for decision-making

The highest score of the simple ranking is the execution and education. It matches the criteria
of avoiding human error. Province government support and realistic programme/
implementation get the highest marks when comparing with others.

Collision (48% in total) is the most frequent containing most occurrences (sinking, listing,
property loss, damage of hull and cargo) and most fatal accidents (there are 9 out of 13 number
of fatality) in Xiamen. The cause of collision (vessel collided with other vessel) is mainly
related to the training and the manner of the ship operator. Therefore, educating the existing
local and international rules to the ship operators (e.g. the international rule of give way
manner, COLREGS; or the safety and pollution regulations18), executing the rule and punishing
the law breaker by spot inspection at sea are imperative to prevent accidents and this is the
most cost effective method to minimize accidents with the existing rules and regulations.
Second priority is channel and berth safety that is only 2 marks lower. In addition to collision,
grounding (17%) and engine problem (17%) are the most frequent accidents in Xiamen. Most
(1) Cap 2, Chapter 7, Marine environment management regarding vessel pollution prevention Ordinance,
Peoples’ Republics of China.
(2) Marine Traffic Safety Regulations, Peoples’ Republics of China

Page 18 of 20
of the grounding and engine problems are related to the unidentified / unexpected objects at
sea. Performing ultra sounding, redrawing the navigation, dredging and salvage of the sink
objects involve lots of surveys, inspections, equipments employment which are time
consuming and expensive. Therefore, these cannot be performed in frequent. Comparing with
execution and education, it is more expensive and less benefit for reducing the most fatal and
frequent accidents in Xiamen, but it still plays an important role in navigation safety.

Third priority is advanced technology & VTS, which include installation of required tools on
vessels, training and communications of pilots in ports. The functions of these equipments and
VTS does not only avoid occurrence of similar accidents (e.g. grounding) but also provides
immediate assistance to the vessels in danger. Smooth co-operations between vessels in ports,
VTS center, pilots and other related marine departments can alleviate the consequences, avoid
and reduce the numbers of accidents.

The least cost effective to minimize risk is the governance of water since the PRC and Taiwan
political issue has been a milestone that needs very long time to resolve. It involves relatively
less damage and fatality to the port risk in Xiamen. Thus, this option is put into lower priority
in controlling and reducing the Xiamen port risk level.

To put it precisely, law execution, education to the ship operators, and licensing the program
vessels are in the priority for lowering the Xiamen port risk level.

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This paper firstly provides relevant valuable insights in the literature for the risk assessment of
port traffic. Since the port traffics in China has been busier and complex by an annual growth
rate at over double digits every year, this study presents formal safety assessment on Xiamen
port. The findings demonstrate that marine collisions and sinking account for over one-thirds
of all accidents in Xiamen port. About 40% and 30% of vessels involved in marine accidents
in Xiamen port are general cargo ships and fishery ships, respectively. 35% of vessel sinking
accidents with fatal result are caused by collision. Vessels grounding that accounts for 17% of
total accidents resulting from objects in sea.

Human element is the most attended problem to the occurrence of marine accidents whether
they are shipboard or shore-based personnel. 19 In the findings, the accidents are usually
occurred by small vessels resulting from the masters of local general cargo ships and fishery
ships who are not fully trained and have inadequate experience. Besides, the port authority is
seldom to execute prosecution against rule breakers. There is poor communication between
VTS centre and other related parties such as pilot, crew, etc. which leads misunderstanding
among themselves and thus the probability of accident occurrence is significantly increased.
Poor information system i.e. VTS is another reason to the accident occurrence.

To improve the safety in port, the level of channel and berth safety needs to be improved by
maintaining the data in very update manner in VTS. Additionally, training and education need
to be carried out for the masters of local small vessels. Apart from improving around the local
port itself, the local port should have a good communication channel and information flow with
foreign neighbour ports so as to share up-to-date information of the sea situation.

However, limited information relating to the cost of the accidents, ultimate consequences and
remedial measures of each accident may affect the result of this analysis. The assessment
priority of the most cost effective measures is mainly based on the frequency and fatality of the
cases in Xiamen within three years only i.e.2004-2006.

To implement the recommended measures in Xiamen, greatest effort has to be spent on

improving the attitude and manner of the channel users. The process needs spending a long
time but it is necessary to perform in order to minimise the fundamental causes of accidents in


Moloney, S. (1993), “IMO told prevention is better than cure”, Lloyd’s List, 15 Sep

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