WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 269–297 | Cite as

Modeling the risk of ship grounding—a literature review from a risk management perspective

  • Arsham MazaheriEmail author
  • Jakub Montewka
  • Pentti Kujala


Ship grounding accidents, being one of the major types of maritime accidents, are significant failures putting in danger maritime transportation systems. Moreover, the risks associated with those failures can be catastrophic for the system, society, and the environment. This highlights the importance of appropriate methodology for assessing and managing the associated risk. Many scholars have introduced a wide range of methods for modeling the risk, utilizing the concept of the probability and the consequence of an accident; however, those models very often employ critical assumptions on the behavior of maritime transportation systems, which may seem not to be supported by evidences. This in turn limits models' ability to mitigate the risks, as those simply remain unknown. Therefore, this article has three aims. First, it proposes a methodological framework suitable for knowledge-based risk modeling, fulfilling the recommendations given by the Formal Safety Assessment issued by the International Maritime Organization. Secondly, it thoroughly reviews and discusses all the existing risk models available in the literature developed for ship grounding risk analysis in light of the proposed risk perspective. Third, the models that are more appropriate for risk management and decision making are highlighted and the recommendations are given to future model developments.


Ship grounding Accident probability Risk modeling Risk management Decision making 



This study was conducted as a part of “Minimizing risks of maritime oil transport by holistic safety strategies” (MIMIC) project. The MIMIC project is funded by the European Union and the financing comes from the European Regional Development Fund, The Central Baltic INTERREG IV A Programme 2007–2013; the City of Kotka; Kotka-Hamina Regional Development Company (Cursor Oy); Centre for Economic Development, and Transport and the Environment of Southwest Finland (VARELY). Our colleagues, Floris Goerlandt, Kaarle Ståhlberg, and Otto Sormunen are greatly appreciated for the inspiring conversations and their comments on the manuscript. The authors are also grateful towards the two anonymous reviewers that their useful comments and suggestions help us to improve the first version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© World Maritime University 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arsham Mazaheri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jakub Montewka
    • 1
  • Pentti Kujala
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Engineering, Department of Applied Mechanics, Marine TechnologyAalto UniversityAaltoFinland

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