SAMK has received a major international award on safety in seafaring

An international award on safety in seafaring in 2016 has been granted for the project group working in the Seahorse project. Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) is the only award winner in Northern Europe.

27.4.2017 | By: Heikki Koivisto | Photo: Jussi Partanen

Rauman satamaa Merimäen suunnasta. Kuva: Jussi Partanen. Rauman satamaa. Rauma harbour.

The award was given to the project group by RINA (Royal Institution of Naval Architects) and LR (Lloyd’s Register) in an annual gala in London 27 April 2017.

Technology in seafaring has developed remarkably during the past years and most accidents at sea are caused by errors which people make. In 2015, there were 3025 accidents at sea, out of which 99 were very serious. There were 1075 casualties and 136 deaths in these accidents. As a result, there is clearly a need to reduce the risk of human errors and to develop new tools to further improve safety at sea.

A project funded by the European Union was set up to find solutions to safer seafaring. The project called SEAHORSE (Safety Enhancement in transport by Achieving Human Oriented Resilient Shipping Environment) was carried out in cooperation with the field of aviation. The aim was, in particular, to find ways to reduce accidents which are caused by human errors. SAMK was the only participant from Northern Europe in this project and the group provided a northern perspective to seafaring.

SAMK has a Degree Programme in Maritime Management and this programme has included resource management as part of sea captain studies since 1993. Resource management was also introduced to studies aimed at the management in the engine room. The number of the staff has decreased while the cargos have increased. At the same time, the requirements for the staff have increased because of automation, efficiency, economic problems and increased paperwork. Harder work load and pressure have increased the risk for human errors and thereby accidents. Humans operate all systems and make decisions, although the systems are fully automated.

In the SEAHORSE project humans were considered as the centre of each system and not as part of it. The project aimed at improving the systems by the principle of resilience engineering at four levels, i.e. individual, group, group networks and organization levels. The aim was to create resources to maintain the efficiency of the system to make the system recover from unexpected situations to basic level of functioning sooner and to make the system endure the constantly changing situations better.

Additional information of the award:


SEAHORSE project

Project time: 1 March 2013 - 31.October 2016

Budget: 3,1 million euros


SEAHORSE project group:

Strathclyde University, UK (project leader), Calmac Ferries Ltd, UK); Danaos Shipping, Greece; Kahn Scheepvaart Bv; AP&A Ltd, Greece/UK ; Istanbul Technical University / Maritime Faculty,Turkey and Satakunta University of Appled Sciences, Finland and  Lloyd’s Register, UK and aviation safety experts: TNO, the Netherlands; Deepblue, Italy;  Trinity College Dublin, the Republic of Ireland; ESM, Spain; Kratis Training and Consulting Ltd, Cyprus.


Additional information:

SEAHORSE project coordinator and project managerat SAMK, Sea Captain

Heikki Koivisto

Satakunta University of Applied Sciences

Tel. +358 44 710 3674