The new probabilistic damaged stability regulations for dry cargo and passenger ships (SOLAS 2009), which entered into force on January 1, 2009, represent a major step forward in achieving an improved safety standard through the rationalization and harmonization of damaged stability requirements. There are, however, serious concerns regarding the adopted formulation for the calculation of the survival probability of passenger ships and the associated required subdivision indices, particularly for RoPax and large cruise ships. The present paper outlines the objectives, the methodology of work and main results of the EU-funded FP7 project GOALDS (Goal Based Damage Stability, 2009-2012), which aims to address the above shortcomings by formulating a new rational, goalbased regulatory framework, properly accounting for the damage stability properties of passenger ships and the risk to people onboard.

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