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Port of Charleston, South Carolina, After Action Report

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The risk assessment process is a disciplined approach to obtaining expert judgements on the level of waterway risk. The process also addresses the relative merit of specific types of Vessel Traffic Management VTM improvements for reducing risk in the port. Based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process AHP, the port risk assessment process involves convening a select group of expertstakeholders in each port and conducting structured workshops to evaluate waterway risk factors and the effectiveness of various VTM improvements. The process requires the participation of local Coast Guard officials before and throughout the workshops. Identification of local risk factorsdrivers and selecting appropriate risk mitigation measures is thus accomplished by a joint effort involving experts and stakeholders, including both waterway users and the agenciesentities responsible for implementing selected risk mitigation measures. This methodology hinges on the development of a generic model of vessel casualty risk in a port. Since risk is defined as the product of the probability of a casualty and its consequences, the model includes variables associated with both the causes and the effects of vessel casualties. The model uses expert opinion to weight the relative contribution of each variable to the overall port risk. The experts are then asked to establish scales to measure each variable. Once the parameters have been established for each risk-inducing factor, the ports risk is estimated by inputting values for the variables specific to that port into the risk model. The model also produces an index of relative merit for five VTM levels as perceived by the local experts assembled for each port.

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  • Surface Transportation and Equipment

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