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Introduction: Setting the Agenda
Joseph Hudspeth, All American Marine, Bellingham, WA
Dr. Roberta Weisbrod, Worldwide Ferry Safety Association, New York, NY

Panel 1: Vessels & Landings: Developed/Developing World
Moderator, Charles R. Cushing, C.R. Cushing Co
Malcolm McLaren, McLaren Engineering Group
Aleik Nurwahyudy, Indonesia Marine Safety Investigations
John Waterhouse, Eliot Bay Design Group

Panel 2: Weather: Global Marine Hyperlocal Real Time
Moderator, Captain Nurur Rahman, Papua New Guinea Gov’t.
Andre Van der Westhuysen, NOAA
Sezin Tokar, USAID
James Connolly, NWS

Panel 3: Training Challenges and Innovative Solutions
Moderator, James De Simone
Murray Goldberg, Marine MLS
Bill Anderson, Jr., MITAGS
Mary Ann Pastrana, Archipelago Ferries, Philippines

Panel 4: Operations and Telematics
Moderator, Len Roueche, FRS
Vasilios Vainilis, Thoreb, Sweden
Jonathan Figueroa, New York Waterway
Juan Ortiz, Bytemark
Cameron Clark, HMS Global

The Manhattan II, from North Cove Landings: resilience, safety, affordability, turnaround time and interoperability--Hudson River and Brooklyn shorelines
Shea Thorvaldsen, McLaren Engineering
Ted Bell, Moffatt & Nichol
James Wong, EDC
Jonathan Figueroa, New York Waterway

Mobile ticketing: implementation and applications
Juan Ortiz, Bytemark
Don Liloia, NYWW

Precision passenger counting and multi-functional telematics
Vasilios Vainilis, Thoreb

The Manhattan II, a classic yacht with modern innovations
Rick Scarano, Scarano Boat Building/Classic Harbor Lines

The City-wide ferry plan
Paul Boomgaardt, EDC
Cameron Clark, HMS
Shea Thorvaldsen, McLaren Engineering Group

Design Competition for a Safe Affordable Ferry

Remarks by Roberta Weisbrod, Executive Director, Worldwide Ferry Safety Association

Ferry safety is a multifaceted issue. Many of the factors are addressed in this conference are

  • Infrastructure—landings and vessels
  • Weather—and South Asia considered most hazardous in world
  • The human element—the need for training and safety culture
  • And how technology can help each of these factors

This international student design competition addresses the issue of vessels; this is the third design competition:

  • First was for river ferry in Bangladesh,
  • Second was for am inter-island seagoing RoPax ferry for Papua New Guinea

This year the design competition was for a RoPax, a ferry transporting cars and trucks as well as people, for the Indonesian Savu Sea, a place that would benefit from expanded safe ferry service. Currently service is infrequent; regular ferry would expand opportunities for inter island trade and tourism and be consistent with Indonesia’s mission to expand and improve its maritime presence from the Indian Ocean to the South Pacific and to improve inter-island maritime transport.

The students were challenged by the recognition that current designs of RoPax with open truck decks have safety challenges. Once a fire starts, it is very difficult to put out—a recent Interferry conference highlighted this issue. Students rose to the challenge.

We thank the board of WFSA, Len Roueche, Stuart Ballantyne, Tom Fox, and Roberta Weisbrod. All but Stuart Ballantyne, of Sea Transport Solutions from Australia are here today.

We thank the judges Charles Cushing, Joe Hudspeth, Fakhrul Islam, Nurur Rahman, and newest Judge Aleik Nuewahyudy. All but Fakhrul Islam from Bangladesh were able to be here today.

We thank the TK Foundation, which made it possible for students to register and attend this conference. Of course, we thank the anonymous foundation for its support and the sponsors of this conference for their support to keep the organization and the design competition going.

We thank and introduce Bekir Sitki Ustaoglu, Asia Pacific Chief, Technical Cooperation Division, International Maritime Organization (IMO).

IMO has worked on seeking to improve domestic ferry transport safety over the past decade. IMO joined with Interferry and Bangladesh Department of Shipping in a pilot ferry safety project. IMO has continued in its efforts by convening Information Sharing Ferry Safety Conferences in many parts of the world and has generated shared action agendas and best practices guidance information.

Competition awardees, judges, and Worldwide Ferry Safety Association (WFSA) Board, 2016

2015 design competition awardees and officials

Front row: from left to right Back row: from left to right
Len Roueche, WFSA Board Eike Ahrens, Bremen
Michael Ostermann, Bremen Joseph Hudspeth, Design Competition Judge (US)
Georgios Atzampos, Strathclyde Harold Gardin, Strathclyde (Captain of Team)
Tom Fox, WFSA Board Sören Döhle, Bremen
Roberta Weisbrod, WFSA Executive Director Christoph Albers, Bremen (Captain of Team)
Heike Lehmkuhl Bremen (Captain of Team) Shalabh Agarwal, Tolani (Captain of Team)
Nurur Rahman, Design Competition Judge (Papua New Guinea)  
Lenja Bünnemann, Bremen  
Aleik Nurwahyudy, Design Competition Judge (Indonesia)  

Photo by Mitch Waxman

Click here for additional photos.

Conveyance of Recognition and Awards for the winners of the Design Competition for a Safe Affordable Ferry 2016

By Bekir Sitki Ustaoglu, Asia Pacific Head, Technical Cooperation Division, International Maritime Organization

Twenty-five teams registered from all over the world but nine stayed the course.

Recognition is made to the team from Malaysia, Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Institute of Marine Engineering Technology and the team from Bangladesh, the Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology: Performed creditable work, first time in the competition

Honorable Mention to two competing teams from Indonesia—both from same university, the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember; also first time competitors.

Third Prize (two teams)

Each team receives an award of $1,000.

Tolani Maritime Institute, in Pune near Mumbai

This is the third year in a row that Tolani has competed; they came in second in 2013 competition. Team captain Shalabh Agarwal. Other team members are Jay Durges, Ankit Parasar, Gaurav Kumar, Ranjan Kumar, and Gaurav Singh. Faculty advisor Sudhir Sindagi.

United States Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland

Team captain Erik Derecktor. He and teammates are all at sea, so the team is represented by fellow student, Nicole Peterson. Other team members are Jack Cathcart, Sean Gallagher, and Jonathan French. Their faculty advisor is Michael Morabito. This is the first year USNA fielded students to the competition.

Second Prize

Each team receives an award of $3,000.

Two teams from the Hochschule Bremen, City University of Applied Sciences, competed and both came in second place. They both had the same faculty advisor, Gregor Schellenberger, who is here today, as are members of both teams.

One team is led by Captain Heike Lehmkuhl with teammates Soeren Doehle, and Mr. Michael Ostermann. Christoph Albers is captain of the other team and his teammates are Lenja Buennemann and Eike Ahrens. This is their third time competing and first time for second place. All are in their first year of the Master's Degree Course, Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering.

First Prize

This team receives an award of $5,000.

University of Strathclyde

Team captain Harold Gardin is here with teammate Georgios Atzampos. Teammates who could not be here are Allan Laycock, Lauritz Karvel, and Grigorios Gryllias. The faculty advisor is Dracos Vassalos. This is the university’s first time competing in the competition.



The Worldwide Ferry Safety Association is a not-for-profit dedicated to bringing innovation in training methods, as well as use of technology to provide notification for sudden hazardous weather, curb overloading, and enhance marine rescue technology. We encourage innovative new ideas in ferry safety and design. To that end WFSA is sponsoring a design competition for safe affordable ferries. The competition is open for registration now. Those interested, please contact us at ferrysafety at gmail dot com.