Unique challenges of ship evacuation. The required evacuation procedures on-board ships are far more complex to a building where the only requirement is to find and navigate to the nearest exit points. Passengers are instructed to return to their cabins to collect lifejackets before heading for a pre-defined assembly (or muster) station. They must then exit the ship by getting to lifeboats, life raft and possibly evacuation slides, for which they have no training and in some cases are very reluctant due to arrangement of equipment (e.g. use of chute), physical limitations or even personal ones (e.g. elderly or claustrophobic people). The ship is floating on waves and this may result in significant motions and accelerations. Furthermore, in case of flooding, it may list or even capsize rapidly.
To tackle the above challenges: (a) the incident detection and evaluation time needs to be minimized (hence the need for a multitude of sensors); (b) the time until the crowd starts evacuating must be improved (need for improved situation awareness by crew members); (c) the movement time needs to be minimized (need for real-time optimization of the evacuation routes, adapted to the evolving evacuation circumstances); (d) the wellbeing and safety of all passengers should be guaranteed irrespective of any demographic specificity (need for advanced life-saving systems/platforms and technologies); (e) the crew needs to have a clear view of the situation and ability to operate the LSA (need for increased situational awareness and de-skilled operation of LSAs) and; (f) all evacuees should be properly prepared for the next phase i.e. Search & Rescue.
SafePASS aims to radically redefine the evacuation processes, evacuation systems/equipment and international regulations for passenger ships in all environments, hazards and weather conditions, independently of the demographic factor, by developing an integrated system that will collectively monitor, process and inform during emergencies both crew and passengers of the optimal evacuation routes, coupled with advanced, intuitive and easy to use LSA, resulting as such to a significant reduction of the total time required for ship evacuation and increased safety.