Project Hygiea could have a significant impact on the industry’s future, says Foreship’s Mattias Jörgensen
Naval architecture and marine engineering firm Foreship has devised an initiative to help limit the presence and spread of Covid-19 onboard passenger ships, titled Project Hygiea.
Stage one of Project Hygiea aims to keep pathogens off ships. Ports would be designed for efficient interception, with the installation of technology for measuring body temperature being one example of possible measures. If a vaccine were to become widely available, passengers could also be screened for immunity before being allowed to board.
Stage two is concerned with preventing the spread of the virus once it is onboard. This would require stringent hygiene measures and the optimisation of spaces and routes to maintain a safe distance between individuals. Technology would be contactless where possible in order to reduce surface transmission, while the crew will be trained in sanitation and social distancing practices.
The third stage would then aim to isolate the pathogen through quarantine and decontamination to mitigate impact. Technology such as air treatment systems and medical facilities would be provided to support these efforts.
Finally, stage four focuses on preparing for the possibility of critical incidents onboard. Evacuation procedures would be put in place with routes through the ship designed for quick extraction, while emergency suits, capsules and craft will be made available.
“There is no silver-bullet solution for fighting viruses in the cruise industry,” said Mattias Jörgensen, Foreship’s business development director. “However, by combining our own expertise with the knowledge of medical professionals and that of our extensive partner network, we have formulated a strategy that tackles the crisis on four fronts.”
In order to effectively implement these steps, Foreship will collaborate with vessel owners to conduct a hazard and operability analysis to identify risk areas and develop solutions specific to each ship. A feasibility study would then determine how these solutions would be implanted, followed with routes through the ship designed for speedy extraction, while emergency suits, capsules and craft will be made available.
“Passenger ship owners are striving to restore public faith in cruise tourism,” said Jörgensen. “Foreship’s expertise in vessel design, refit, project management and lifecycle services put us in a unique position to provide the bigger-picture solution they are looking for. Even at this early stage, we are seeing a lot of interest in Hygiea, which promises to have a significant positive impact on the immediate future of the industry.”
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