Seventh Framework Programme
description or moto of 7th framework programme

SAFEGUARD is an ambitious project aiming to collect human performance data in full scale ship trials and use this to provide calibration and validation data for ship based evacuation models and to also propose and investigate additional benchmark scenarios to be used in certification analysis.

Passenger response time data is fundamental to ship based evacuation analysis and is a key parameter specified in the IMO evacuation analysis protocol MSC Circ 1033 and its successor MSC Circ 1238. Recent research work conducted under the European Union Framework 5 project FIRE EXIT (G3RD-CT-2002-00824), demonstrated that the response time data used in MSC Circ 1033 was not rich enough to accurately represent reality and as such did not provide a suitable basis either for the use of evacuation simulation programs or for their validation. The FIRE EXIT sea trials data relating to response times was submitted to IMO and incorporated within the new evacuation analysis protocol MSC Circ 1238 which replaced the earlier MSC Circ 1033. This updated IMO document made clear the fact that many of the assumptions used at present are in urgent need of revision. The data produced by FIRE EXIT, while limited, was of great use in showing the short comings of present data and the way forward. It is the main objective of SAFEGUARD to continue this work and acquire a large corpus of sea based data on passenger response times and assembly times during ship evacuations, of a sufficient size and richness to permit model calibration (in terms of response time distributions) and verification and validation (of assembly process) and serve as the basis for improved evacuation analysis protocols beyond MSC Circ 1238.

The partners for the project are: BMT Group Ltd, FSEG University of Greenwich, Bureau Veritas Group, Principia, Marine Institute, Safety at Sea Ltd, Color Line, Minoan Lines, Royal Caribbean International

Project Objectives

The main objective of the SAFEGUARD project is to acquire large set of data representing PAX response times and assembly times during ship evacuations. These datasets will be collected during 6 trials conducted on 3 different types of vessels: a ferry without cabins (Color Line), a ferry with cabins (Minoan Lines) and a cruise ship (Royal Caribbean). Two trials will be conducted on the same leg of two trips or on two legs of a return trip. The collected data will be used for calibration and validation of ship based evacuation models. The project will also investigate and suggest additional benchmark scenarios to be used in certification analysis. An extensive analysis of past accidents that led to evacuations will also be conducted. Finally, the results of these studies will be reported to IMO for possible incorporation into future modifications of MSC Circ 1238


Work Package A:
Sea Trials

Lead partner: BMT

This work package will cover sea trials on three types of large passenger vessels, namely, a ferry without cabins, a ferry with cabins and a cruise ship. To ensure repeatability two trials will be conducted for each ship type. A considerable amount of video data will be collected recording the movement and behaviour of passengers on board these vessels. Furthermore Infra Red tags will be distributed to the passengers to record their routes during the assembly process. Finally a questionnaire that will be distributed to the assembled passengers will provide an insight and verification of the passengers' choices. Prior to the trials FSEG sough and gained ethics approval from the University Research Ethics Committee.

For this work package FSEG is responsible for developing the required trials plan, protocols and the development of the questionnaire. FSEG was also instrumental in the development of the IR monitoring equipment (IR beacons and IR tags) that is necessary to capture the assembly process during the trials.

In order to prepare for the sea trials the FSEG team conducted two pre-trial visits on the SuperSpeed 2 vessel. During these visits the FSEG team identified the locations where the monitoring equipment would be installed and performed extensive tests of this equipment.

FSEG is also responsible for running the sea trials and the first two were successfully conducted on 4 and 5 September on two separate trips between Kristiansand (Norway) and Hirtshals (Denmark).

SuperSpeed Ferry


Cameras in place ready to capture the assembly process

IR beacon used to emit an identifiable field that can be received by the IR tags worn by the passengers

Example of IR tag that the passengers will be wearing


Two frames taken during the assembly process

Some of the collected questionnaires

Work Package B:
Analysis of Trial Data

Lead partner: FSEG University of Greenwich


The data collected during the trials will be analysed and put into a form useful for application to computer based evacuation analysis. FSEG is responsible for analysing the video footage in order to extract response time data resulting in six response time data sets. These data sets will be examined and if possible reduced down to three data sets, one for each vessel type. A mathematical formulae of the response time distribution for each vessel type will then be developed and compared with previous response time data sets. The new response time curves will be used in a series of hypothetical test cases to determine their impact on ship evacuations. For consistency, these test cases will be compared with simulation run using response time data as specified in MSC Circ 1033 and 1238.

Furthermore FSEG/OSSC will analyse the IR tag data to extract passenger route data for model validation and mustering time for each trial. This study will result in six data sets and it will include information on initial PAX locations, route information and flow rate data.

FSEG will also analyse the data collected from the questionnaires and has designed the database that will hold the questionnaire data. Again, this will result in six data sets one from each trial.

During this work package FSEG will also produce the first IMO FP information paper on response time distributions. This paper will be reported to IMO Fire Protection subcommittee along with a recommendation for use of the response time data as part of an updated MSC Circ 1238.

Work Package C:
Ship Evacuation and Validation Data Sets

Lead partner: FSEG University of Greenwich


The data that will be collected during the trials and examined during the analysis process will be used to perform a validation study for the following three leading ship evacuation software packages: FSEG's maritimeEXODUS, ODIGo and EVI.

Models of each of the vessels for each of the trials will be prepared for each of the three evacuation packages. This will involve using the appropriate geometry, population and response time distribution for each ship modelled. These models will then be simulated and the results compared to determine the degree by which each software agrees with the sea trial data. If necessary the software packages will be appropriately calibrated and this calibration will be fed back into the standard operating practices for use of the software.

Currently ship design does not utilise validation data sets to transform the results of evacuation simulation into ship design recommendations. To improve on this situation FSEG will be responsible for defining safety factors based on the statistical analysis of the data extracted from the six trials.

The validation data sets and the development of new safety factors will lead to the second set of IMO recommendations for use on the validation of large scale passenger ship evacuation models and the use of safety factors in these models when undertaking certification analysis similar to that defined in MSC Circ 1033 or 1238. 

Work Package D:
Certification Scenarios

Lead partner: BV


During this work package additional certification scenarios will be developed. Initially an extensive review of available data from recent accidents will be studied and the factors leading to ship evacuations will be identified. The current Day and Night scenarios will be examined and possible enriched in light of the findings from the accident survey.  FSEG will lead in the development of a scenario involving a fire. This scenario will become an additional benchmark scenario along the Day and Night scenarios. Finally a scenario involving adverse heel conditions will be developed.



Work Package E:
Implementation and Verification of certification scenarios

Lead partner: S@S


The additional benchmark scenarios identified in the previous task will be explored using state of the art ship stability and fire simulation software. The use of these advanced software tools will allow the definition of a set of parameters that will generically specify the fire and heel evacuation scenarios.

Starting with a generic representative ship design, FSEG will develop fire scenarios considering fire location, peak heat release rate and rate of growth and these will be simulated based on findings from previous work packages using the state of the art fire field model SMARTFIRE. These simulations will be used to create smoke and heat spread benchmarks for future use in evacuation simulation under fire conditions. The benchmark case will attempt to specify relevant fire impact rather than specify actual fire conditions.


Work Package F:
Dissemination and Exploitation

Lead partner: BMT


The final part of the project will involve wide dissemination of results and articulation of business plans to market the findings and results of SAFEGUARD.
Work Package G:

Lead partner: BMT

BMT is responsible for the overall project management and integration of the various participants' contributions towards the SAFEGUARD project.
Validation data-sets Click here

Project Partners


University of

Marine Institute

Bureau Veritas Group

Safety at Sea


Color Line

Minoan Lines

Royal Caribbean International
Further Information Prof. Ed Galea
Fire Safety Engineering Group
University of Greenwich
Greenwich Maritime Campus
Old Royal Naval College
Queen Mary Building
Greenwich SE10 9LS

Tel: +44 (020) 8331 8730
Fax: +44(020) 8331 8925

The SAFEGUARD project is funded by the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme