Going Round in Circles

Posted in LIFELINE November 2017 - English

Loren 1036As noted in the report on page 9 of the recent ICAO/IMO Joint Working Group on SAR, one of the amendments to be made to the IAMSAR Manual for its 2019 edition is the addition of information on the ‘Lorén Turn’.

Volume III of the Manual already includes information on three ‘standard recovery manoeuvres’ – the Williamson turn, the single or Anderson turn, and the Scharnov turn. These manoeuvres are designed to assist a ship’s crew to return to a man overboard. But, having reached the casualty, then what…?

The FIRST Project (see www.first-rescue.org), conducted by the Swedish Sea Rescue Society with the active assistance of leading ferry company Stena Line and other partners, has done much good work on the difficult question of retrieving people from small craft, including survival craft, or from the water.

The Project has included live trials, in poor sea conditions, of a manoeuvre which involves a ship circling the casualty in order to break up wave trains.

This has the effect of temporarily calming the area of sea in which the retrieval is to take place. The pictures show the Stena Line ferry Stena Jutlandica carrying out the manoeuvre.

Ship simulations using different types of vessels have also been conducted at the Chalmers University of Technology, in Gothenburg, Sweden. These indicate the same effect.

loren 3038Adding the basics of the procedure to Volume III of IAMSAR will be of considerable aid to the masters of ‘ships of opportunity’ asked to attempt rescues at sea, beyond the reach or in support of dedicated SAR units.

As the FIRST Project is headed by Captain Jörgen Lorén, Stena Jutlandica’s Master at the time of the trials shown, the JWG agreed to name the manoeuvre for him in IAMSAR.

The benefits of the Lorén Turn are that it facilitates launch and recovery of a rescue boat and rescue work by other craft.

Circling calms the sea by interfering with wave patterns: the more turbulence created by the ship the better. Additional ships circling to windward will calm the sea further.

The Lorén turn procedure may be summarised as follows:

Head into the wind at full speed.
2. Begin the circle and reduce to slow when the wind is abeam.
3. When the wind crosses the stern to the opposite quarter, increase to half speed.
4. Continue circling as long as calmer water is needed.
5. Slow down, or stop, to launch and recover rescue boat on the leeward side, inside the circle.

It is important that masters considering this manoeuvre, or the others already included in IAMSAR, know the handling characteristics of their own vessel.

Opportunities should be taken to practice.

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