This report summarizes conclusions reached by experts that met in 2004 to discuss Arctic marine transport, international marine safety, sea ice and climate change. The report includes a research agenda and identifies critical issues relevant to the future of Arctic shipping.
The growth of maritime oil transportation in the Gulf of Finland (GoF), North-Eastern Baltic Sea, increases environmental risks by increasing the probability of oil accidents. By integrating the work of a multidisciplinary research team and information from several sources, we have developed a probabilistic risk assessment application that considers the likely future development of maritime traffic and oil transportation in the area and the resulting risk of environmental pollution. This metamodel is used to compare the effects of two preventative management actions on the tanker collision probabilities and the consequent risk. The resulting risk is evaluated from four different perspectives. Bayesian networks enable large amounts of information about causalities to be integrated and utilized in probabilistic inference. Compared with the baseline period of 2007-2008, the worst-case scenario is that the risk level increases 4-fold by the year 2015. The management measures are evaluated and found to decrease the risk by 4-13%, but the utility gained by their joint implementation would be less than the sum of their independent effects. In addition to the results concerning the varying risk levels, the application provides interesting information about the relationships between the different elements of the system.
The risk of epidemics represents an important challenge in offshore petroleum activities. All personnel are needed for regular operations, and the outbreak of an epidemic will soon affect the operations. The economical consequences can be vast. The risk of an epidemic is raised due to the closeness of living and catering offshore combined with frequent changes of personnel who travel offshore from many nations. The article is based on the experience gained by the author during 22 years as a senior medical officer in a Norwegian oil company. Some endemics and epidemics are described. None of these resulted in the shutdown of production, but they still represented a major challenge to the company and to the medical staff in particular. The transfer value from experience offshore to ships is obvious but there are differences. Risk analysis and quality assurance systems play an important part in the prevention and limitation of epidemics offshore. The infrastructure of the food supply chain as well as education and training of personnel are key elements. Campaigns on different hygiene topics that address all personnel are launched at regular intervals. Contingency plans must be established and be ready for use in case of a threatening epidemic. Identification of the type and source of the infection or food poisoning, isolation of the infected personnel, safe evacuation of patients, and the establishment of other necessary barriers for reduction of spread of infection are necessary to control an outbreak of an epidemic.
AIMS: Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a leading occupational disease and some seafarers and fishermen may be at high risk. We present here standardized hospital contact ratios (SHCRs) for hearing loss among Danish seafarers and fishermen. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cohorts of all Danish seafarers registered by the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) and fishermen retrieved from a 1989-1998 pension registry were linked to the nationwide Occupational Hospitalisation Registry (OHR) with follow-up for NIHL from 1994 to 2003, using rates specific for age and calendar time for the entire Danish workforce as a reference. RESULTS: We found high SHCRs for NIHL: 165 [95% confidence interval (CI) 131-206] among officers, 113 (79-157) for nonofficers and 119 (85-162) for fishermen. The increased SHCR for hearing impairment among seafarers was solely found in engine room personnel (SHCR = 222; 95% CI 178-277). Compared to other seafarers, the engine room personnel had a relative risk ratio of 2.39 (95% CI: 1.74-3.26). Short-term employment is common in many trades. No duration response pattern was observed which may suggest a secondary healthy worker effect. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that hearing problems are frequent among men who work in the engine rooms on ships. Long-term cumulative effects of employment were not shown.
Results from a descriptive study on Swedish Telemedical Advice Services (TMAS) from 1997, 2002, 2007, and the first six months of 2009 on infectious conditions are presented. These findings concern symptoms, actions taken, number of evacuations, means of communication, and use of digital photos. They show that infectious conditions are a significant contributor to calls to the service and that they can be more frequently treated on board than can other conditions.
Although there are several well preserved Viking boat burials from Norway, until recently palaeoecological research on their context has often been limited. Research on fossil insect remains in particular can provide valuable forensic information even in the absence of an actual body. Here we present archaeoentomological information from a boat burial at Øksnes in Vesterålen, northeast Norway, an area where Norse and Sami traditions overlap. Excavated in 1934, organic preservation from the burial was limited to parts of the boat and a clump of bird feathers which were preserved in the Tromsø University Museum, and from which fossil insects were recovered. The insect assemblage from Øksnes includes the blowfly, Protophormia terraenovae (Rob.-Des.), which indicates exposure of the body and the probable timing of the burial. The high numbers of the human flea, Pulex irritans L. from among the feathers, suggests that these, probably from a pillow under the corpse, originated from within a domestic context. Deposition of flowers as part of the burial is discussed on the basis of the insect fauna. The absence of a body and any associated post burial decay fauna implies its exhumation and disposal elsewhere and this is discussed in the context of other exhumed medieval burials and Saga and other sources.
Search and rescue helicopters from the Royal Norwegian Air Force conduct ambulance and search and rescue missions in the Barents Sea. The team on-board includes an anesthesiologist and a paramedic. Operations in this area are challenging due to long distances, severe weather conditions, and arctic winter darkness.
One-hundred, forty-seven ambulance and 29 search and rescue missions in the Barents Sea during 1994-1999 were studied retrospectively with special emphasis on operative conditions and medical results.
Thirty-five percent of the missions were carried out in darkness. The median time from the alarm to first patient contact was 3.3 hours and the median duration of the missions was 7.3 hours. Forty-eight percent of the missions involved ships of foreign origin. Half the patients had acute illnesses, dominated by gastrointestinal and heart diseases. Most of the injuries resulted from industrial accidents with open and closed fractures, amputations, and soft tissue damage. Ninety percent of the patients were hospitalized; 7.5% probably would not have survived without early medical treatment and rapid transportation to a hospital.
Using a heavy search and rescue helicopter in the Barents Sea was the right decision in terms of medical gain and operative risk.
Scenarios for shipping traffic in the Gulf of Bothnia (GoB) by 2030 are described in order to identify the main factors that should be taken into account when preparing a Maritime Spatial Plan (MSP) for the area. The application of future research methodology to planning of marine areas was also assessed. The methods include applying existing large scale quantitative scenarios for maritime traffic in the GoB and using real-time Delphi in which an expert group discussed different factors contributing to future maritime traffic in the GoB to find out the probability and significance of the factors having an impact on maritime traffic. MSP was tested on transnational scale in the Bothnian sea area as a pilot project.
Human behavior impacts the environment we live in. In order to better understand how one group, boat owners, in three Nordic countries adjacent to the Baltic Sea; Sweden, Finland and Denmark, viewed the relationship between the marine environment, leisure boats and issues of responsibility, a survey study was conducted (n = 1701). The results show that there are differences between gender in many areas and those women in general are more environmentally friendly than men in their views and behavior. Men and women seek information about boating by different channels and this knowledge may be used in future information campaigns. Both men and women ranked boat owners as having the lowest impact on the marine environment and perceived these to be responsible for addressing environmental issues caused by leisure boat activities. The results also show that it is important to prove the effectiveness of an environmentally safe product since this factor is ranked higher than price when considering buying a product. The results suggest that once environmentally friendly behavior is established, such as recycling, this behavior continues. One implication of this study is that small changes in human behavior are seen as acceptable but larger commitments are more difficult to achieve. If individuals do not feel responsible for causing environmental damage, this aspect needs to be addressed in information aimed at this group. Novel approaches on framing the information and new ways of disseminating information are needed.