ETAS (Emergency Technical Assistance Service)

Recent years have seen what seemed like an almost continuous parade of ships in crisis, from the Erika to the Ievoli Sun and the Castor. Most of these incidents have occurred in European waters, but the Natuna Sea incident off Singapore, was a timely reminder that Asia is far from immune to such problems. NK's ETAS (Emergency Technical Assistance Service) is available to assist shipowners in this type of crisis situation.

Part of the PrimeShip suite of products and services, ETAS is an emergency service which assists ship owners and their representatives ensure ship safety and prevent or minimize the effects of marine pollution in the event of a serious ship casualty such as stranding, collision or explosion. Working closely with the owner and salvage team, the ETAS team is often the brains behind the brawn, making sure that the salvage operations don't make the situation worse, or minimizing any necessary negative impact.

Preparing for a crisis starts with registering for the ETAS service. At this time all the relevant data of the ships registered for the PrimeShip-ETAS service are stored in a database for easy retrieval in order to be able compute the damage stability and the impact of damage on for example, longitudinal strength in case of an emergency. Technical advice can then be provided as to the best course of action that may be taken to secure the safety of the vessel. In the case of an emergency, the ship/client should contact the ETAS team as soon as possible after the incident. The team takes the information provided by the ship and uses it together with the data previously registered in the database to make the necessary computations. Technical advice is then provided concerning transfer or off-loading of cargo, fuel or ballast if necessary, as well as any necessary temporary repairs so that the Master and crew of the damaged ship can respond to the emergency as quickly and effectively as possible.

An ETAS team of highly trained specialists including experienced surveyors, naval architects, master mariners and chief engineers stand ready to respond to any client request 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, as time is often a critical factor in crisis management. On this point, it is worth noting that although part of the PrimeShip suite of products and services, and therefore a natural complement to classing the vessel with NK, it is not actually necessary for a ship to be classed with NK in order to register for the ETAS service. Owners may need or want to class some of their vessels with another society, but still prefer to have the option to utilize the NK ETAS expertise when an emergency situation develops.

Of course the ETAS team is able to respond and assist all over the world. In fact the first ETAS execution, in 1994, advised on the refloating of the vehicle carrier M.S. AyaII, which grounded at the mouth of the Schelde river near Antwerp.

Naturally ETAS complies with the relevant requirements set forth in the "Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan" required by the amended Annex I of MARPOL 73/78 as well as the "Vessel Response Plan" required for oil tankers entering any U.S. port as stipulated in the provisions of the US Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90).

For more information on ETAS or to register, contact the Head Office Survey Department.
Phone : +81-3-5226-2027 Fax : +81+3+5226 2029 E-mail :

ETAS Brochure

Application for ETAS(PDF)
Application for ETAS(Word)