After the completion of the Three Gorges Dam, ship accidents occurred in the channel between the Three Gorges and Gezhouba dam have increased significantly. The existing regulations are based on experiences which lack of rigorous scientific proof. This paper establishes a detailed database of the navigation environment, statistically analyzes the accidents, summarizes the distribution rules of various parameters, finds the ship's own and environmental variables that induced the accidents, and provides control variables which based on the channel environment and ship accidents for the establishing of more scientific, rigorous navigation-safety regulations.
Since the Three Gorges Dam began to store water in 2003, the average annual growth rate of cargo volume in channel between the Three Gorges and Gezhouba dam reached 16.6%, an average annual growth of about 9.43 million tons. In 2011, the lockage cargo volume in Three Gorges Dam reached 100.3 million tons (CTG, 2012), which was 20 years ahead of the schedule to reach its designed capacity. Now, channel between the two dams has been a very important transport corridor linking economy and trade between the eastern and western regions (Yao, Wang and Zhang, 2010), and the waterway transportation is very busy.
However, the navigation conditions between the two dams have changed dramatically after the completion of the Three Gorges Dam. Especially in the flood period, the frequency of ship accidents occurred in this channel increased significantly (Chen, 2011). To ensure the navigation efficiency and reduce the ship accidents, the government departments have issued more and more regulations, rules, measures and standards on safe navigation, especially the navigation in channel between the two dams, as shown in fig. 1.
In these regulations, the first one are applicable to all inland waterway in China, the last five are particularly suitable for the channel between the two dams. These regulations have reduced ship accidents to a certain extent, but it seems that ship accidents have not always been reduced with the increasing number of regulations. One of the possible reasons is that the regulations of channel between the two dams are largely developed according to the experiences of administrative departments and ship pilots, so they lack rigorous scientific proof and are likely to result in a decrease in the navigation efficiency, but do not improve the safety.