Characteristics of Dynamic Positioning Operators' Situation Awareness and Decision Making during Critical Incidents in Maritime Operations
Authors: Kjell I. Øvergårda, Linda J. Sorensena, Tone J. Martinsena, Salman Nazirb
Abstract: The maritime and offshore industries are increasingly becoming dependent on Dynamic Positioning (DP) systems for automated vessel station keeping. This study aimed to identify characteristics of DP Operators' Situation Awareness (SA) and decision-making during critical incidents. Critical incidents were defined as events that were unplanned, non-routine and where accidents could be avoided. SA was defined by Endsley's three levels model involve perception of cues in the environment (Level I SA), understanding the meaning of the cues (Level II SA) and projection of system state (Level III SA). Semi-structured interviews using the Critical Decision Method were conducted with 13 experienced DP operators. The onset of the critical incident in all 24 incidents was used as a center point for the creation of event trees. Results indicate that in 10 incidents the DPOs were not able to identify the base events (did not form Level I SA) but were able to realize the problem (understand the situation, e.g. form Level II SA), indicating that the establishment of high-level SA may not depend entirely on the establishment of low-level SA. This study contributes to an improved understanding of the formation of situation awareness and the recovery of critical incidents during demanding maritime operations.
Keywords: Critical Incidents, Situation Awareness, Decision Making, Dynamic Positioning
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