Seventh Annual International Maritime Hall of Fame Awards

Harbor Safety Committee Recap 2000

Harbor Safety Committee Recap 1999

Third Annual High Speed Ferry Conference


Maritime Association of the Port of
New York and New Jersey


High Speed Ferry Northeast
3rd Annual Conference

©1999 Illustration Kentucky Coast, LLC

Third Annual High Speed Ferry NE Conference Review Windows on the World, World Trade Center, New York City, April 8, 1999
By Judy Rovins, President, Motivators Conferences

Private and Public Development of High Speed Craft Underway for Next Century

Alan Olmsted, Director, Private Ferry Operations, New York City, moderated the one day High Speed Ferry NE Conference and Trade Show. His opening introduction of Robert Grotell, Director of Transportation, New York City Mayor's Office, set the stage for Olmstead's recognition that traffic is shifting to the waterways. More specifically, New York City is expanding its role as a center of the high speed ferry.

"Today there are more high speed craft in and around New York City than in prior years. The renaissance of ferries linking the region has increased every year since 1986," said Olmsted. Short and middle distance routes are popular now.

A number of projects in private and public development are underway for the next century, including public dollars for the Whitehall Tunnel and the St. George Tunnel. A new Pier 11 is under construction including a new terminal, coffee shop, public art space, garden and pickup on South Street for taxis and buses. Other projects include entry into the Hudson River and into midway Manhattan, a ferry terminal on 34th Street, permanent facilities on East 62nd Street, East 75th Street and East 90th Street.

The ferry landing at Yankee Stadium has five ferry boats on the average unload for a game. The Battery Park City Terminal with funding of $30 million will expand passenger comfort. Weehawken will see New Jersey light rail.


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Jim Peachey, BOMEL Limited, UK
"Risks to Passengers and Crew in High Speed Ferry Higher Than Previous Experience Indicated"

A formal assessment developed by the IMO compares risks with risk criteria to determine what is expected from high speed craft in relation to accidents. Risks, costs and options should be part of the decision-making for safety. The Maritime Coast Guard Agency-UK Maritime Administration chose high speed ferries for the safety assessment because of the new technologies being introduced worldwide.IMO did not consider environmental, business or property risks. Collision was noted as a priority - high speed craft are in confined waters. Fire risk is significant. There is a degree of uncertainty about the hull integrity.

IMO looked for factors which influence and cause risk levels to be high: 1) training, 2) management, 3) human element, 4) design of the craft, 5) communications, 6) maintenance. Many accidents happen at low speed - berthing. Approximately 86% of accidents are due to human error. Factors considered were reliability of hardware systems, personal performance of bridge staff, commercial drivers. Seventy-eight individual risk control measures which were identified addressed accident scenarios and their causes. Those then were grouped into 24 potential regulatory options.

The conclusion was that risks to passengers and crew in high speed ferries are higher than previous experience indicated.

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Claude McKernan, Operations Manger, NY Waterway
"Safety Through Risk ID and Management"

A high speed craft is a pollution reducer, a stress reducer and a travel improver. "Today there is a shift away from highways into terminals," stated McKernan. Federal funds are available for the construction of intermodal connections to reduce risk.

Human error is responsible for most of the marine accidents. Operators of faster craft follow industry standards, not government regulations. Fire drills and man overboard drills were the training in years past. Now there is new additional training for operators of craft in excess of 28 knots. McKernan advocates more proactive steps to develop and implement higher standards of safety, communications protocols, as well as in the in-house training for operators of high speed ferries. The external operating controls of AIS and VTS are structured with only the highest speed vessels, but should be a part of the in-house training. McKernan urged the various levels of government to facilitate and expand high speed ferry travel. The future must include the establishment of best practices for operating fast craft.

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Peter Duclos, President, Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding
"Entry Into Fast Ferry -What's New? What's in the Future?"

The fast ferries highlight twin hull, narrow hulls; are well-rounded and suited for many applications. Designed to meet the High Speed Craft Code, the fast craft uses a variety of propulsion systems. The good water propeller propulsion is 70 percent efficient. The jet propulsion is 60 percent efficient and heavier. The water jet is tolerable to the water break and highly maneuverable. Peter Duclos' dynamic visual presentation featured many new high speed ferries operating in the Northeast.

LCDR Joseph Duffy, USCG - Boston
"Risk Management and Operational Safety Issues"

Sole reliance and dependency on radar seem to be the practice for High Speed Craft. Are all operators of high speed craft trained on the radar for accuracy?

LCDR Duffy generated questions from the audience when he presented visual on the Flarecraft which plans to be operational in six months from New London, Connecticut to Long Island. The vessels will travel at 95-100 knots, have four passengers and can travel at 300 foot heights.

Gene Guest, Director, Marine Safety International
"Simulator Systems for High Speed Ferries"

We need to change our thinking about training for high speed ferries and need to consider why a simulator would be beneficial in training. First, high speed ferries are different from other vessels in their construction materials, composites, water jets, and they are different in power to weight ratio. The high speed craft are fast and slow, and according to IMO Code, operators need type training, not just general training.

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Since training on a dedicated particular craft would be expensive, training on a simulator of a high speed craft is cheaper, faster and better.

Technical requirements of a simulator for high speed ferries include:
......1) specific bridge equipment,
..... 2) a new mathematical model,
..... 3) higher visual update rate,
..... 4) faster computer iteration than on a conventional .........simulator, and
..... 5) a need for 3-D visuals.

Training programs on a simulator for high speed ferries are intended to be rigorous practice for the operators to learn proficiency. Training is intended to be a regular program and should be given both to replacement crew and current crew for renewal purposes. The High Speed Craft Code in IMO advocates recurrent training every two years for High Speed Craft operators.

A cost-effective simulator had modular construction to change layout, instrumentation and controls. The simulator should have mobile capability - HSC bridge simulator, ARPA, ECDIS, engine monitoring station, and a night vision station. A simulated bridge could be put in a trailer for instruction and used for observation by the instructor.

Jim Rienhardt, Gateway National Parks, Chairman "Public-Private Partnerships and Development Opportunities" was the closing panel to encourage such opportunities in the Gateway National Parks.

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