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Due to the effect of water depth, hydrodynamic characteristics of ships manoeuvring in shallow waters are quite different from those in deep water. In the present study, the CFD method is used to investigate the hydrodynamic behaviour of the ESSO OSAKA model in model-fixed condition in deep and shallow waters by solving RANS equations, which performs steady turning motion with the effect of free surface considered. The governing equations are discretized by the finite volume method (FVM) and the free surface is captured by applying the volume of fluid (VOF) method. Viscous hydrodynamic characteristics and flow fields in a series of cases at different water depths and speeds are investigated respectively. By comparing the numerical results in shallow water with those in deep water, it was found that effects of water depth and free surface are significant on shipâ€™s hydrodynamic forces. The coefficients of drag, lateral force and yaw moment all increase with the decrease of water depth. The drag coefficient in shallow water is about 45% larger than that in deep water. However, effect of water depth on the lateral force coefficient is small, it is about 15% larger in shallow water than that in deep water. While, it has significant effect on the yaw moment coefficient, which is about 25% larger in shallow water than in deep water. And as the water depth increases, the effect of the free surface gradually becomes smaller. Both coefficient of pressure component of drag force and drag coefficient in the present simulation are about 7% smaller than the case without considering the free surface at h/d â‰¥ 3.0, while that of frictional component is almost the same. When h/d â‰¥ 3.0, the lateral force and yaw moment coefficients are almost the same as when the free surface is not considered. The error between the present numerical result and the measurements is within 10%, which indicates that RANS method has promising capability to predict the hydrodynamic forces on ships manoeuvring in shallow water.