In April, ABS partnered with the Norwegian coast guard, academic institutions and other stakeholder companies to perform a search and rescue exercise in Svalbard, Norway. The University of Stavanger, Company GMC and the Norwegian Coast Guard organized the exercise, which took place on the K V Svalbard, a Norwegian Coast Guard vessel. The exercise was conducted to gain a better understanding of the IMO Polar Code’s requirements, which many in the industry regard as vague, according to ABS. For example, the code requires the crews of maritime vessels, including drilling rigs, to be equipped be able to survive five days in polar waters while awaiting rescue. There was concern about whether this was even possible with existing equipment, said ABS Human Factors Specialist Katie Aylward.
In this video, Ms Aylward describes the three-phase search and rescue exercise. She also outlines some of the findings, which will be available in full when ABS releases a report this fall.