Specifically, according to Britannia P&I, the benefit of being aware of a case at an early stage can have many advantages. For the time being,  CCTV is more commonly used on large passenger ships, cruise liners and ferries and it’s purpose is predominantly for security issues and monitoring restricted areas.

Yet, it can also be used on board cargo vessels for:

  •  Man overboard detection;
  • Monitoring the ship’s navigation, including close quarters manoeuvring and berthing / unberthing operations;
  • Monitoring cargo operations;
  • Accident and incident investigation;

However, there are some challenges onboard CCTV cameras, such as:

  • Local regulations or military sensitivities may preclude the use of photographic monitoring from merchant ships in certain areas;
  • Camera alignment – a protocol for testing and re-calibration is essential to ensure the required coverage is recorded;
  • Camera maintenance requirements – automatic wiper/washer systems are preferable to manual cleaning;
  • Recording/storage of data – regular testing to ensure data is being recorded and retained for the required period of time in accordance with the company data retention policy;
  • Possible data protection issues, which also may drive the company data retention policy. Key issues to consider include how this data recording and retention applies in different jurisdictions, especially footage of other vessels captured alongside a berth
  • Synchronisation of camera clocks with other systems, such as GPS time on the VDR which is generally the master clock;
  • Cameras need to be of a recognised marine standard and type approved to ensure performance and vibration, humidity, temperature, corrosion resistance, internet protocol (IP) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements are met;
  • Possible cyber security considerations if CCTV footage can be downloaded or accessed remotely, given system integration and connectivity between shore and ship Ships will typically have a CCTV display console strategically placed on the bridge.

In addition, a good marine camera system requires an investment, as many cameras have to be placed along the bridge wings and ship side, taking into account the hull shape, as well as the accommodation area (internally and externally) and mooring stations.

Also, the use of onboard CCTV camera has to be detailed considered, concerning  the ship’s trading area and certainly only used when permitted.

Concluding, Britannia P&I supports that provided that the above criteria are met, the advantages are obvious.