Characteristics of critical incidents in dynamic positioning
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The maritime operations are growing more complex and increasingly dependent on Dynamic Positioning. Critical incidents in DP have a potential for economic loss and disastrous consequences for human life and the natural environment. DP operators make time-critical decisions in order to rapidly and effectively handle unexpected critical situations. A large number of incidents do not lead to accidents because the operators manage to recover to normal operation mode. It is interesting to understand the characteristics of human operators handling of critical incidents and to see how they are able to recover. The purpose of this study was to identify characteristics of critical incidents in DP and characteristics of decision-making. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 experienced DP operators, sampled purposively from shipping companies, drilling companies and a DP training centre among others. The interviews provided 24 incident recollections that were transcribed and thematically analyzed. The main findings were four characteristics themes of critical incidents in DP. The themes were Situation Awareness, Experience, Human and Automation and Decision Strategy. This study contributes to understanding characteristics of critical incidents in DP. Further more, identifying factors that impact DP operator decision-making during critical incidents.