At the center of litigation involving vessel collisions and allisions is the history of the movement and interaction of the vessel with its surroundings. Forensic analysis of an incident, and sometimes litigation, seeks to resolve the causes and timing of the vessel movements. Simulation and animation are tools to analyze the vessel movements, and simulation is a tool to analyze the actions and possible alternative actions that could have been taken by the operators. Animations can serve to present reconstruction of the accident in a visual form. Animation is also a tool used to explain complex events and devices to a less technically sophisticated audience. This paper provides examples of simulations and animations that enhance understanding of marine accidents and describes the characteristics that may make these tools suitable for use in litigation.
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