The risks associated with mooring of ships are a major concern for port and maritime authorities.
Sea waves and extreme weather conditions can lead to excessive movements of vessels and mooring loads affecting the safety of ships, cargo, passengers, crew or port infrastructures.
Normally, port activities such as ships’ approach manoeuvres and loading/unloading operations, are conditioned or suspended based solely on weather or wave forecasts, causing large economic losses. Nevertheless, it has been shown that some of the most hazardous events with moored ships happen on days with mild sea and wind conditions, being the culprit long waves and resonance phenomena. Bad weather conditions can be managed with an appropriate or reinforced mooring arrangement.
A correct risk assessment must be based on the movements of the ship and on the mooring loads, taking into account all the moored ship’s system.
In this paper, the development of a forecast and warning system based on the assessment of risks associated with moored ships in port areas, SWAMS ALERT, is detailed.
This modular system can be scaled and adapted to any port, providing decision-makers with accurate and complete information on the behaviour of moored ships, movements and mooring loads, allowing a better planning and integrated management of port areas.