As installation schedule ends in July 2018, more vessels are embracing ECDIS as the primary means of navigation. The primary function of ECDIS is to enhance the safety of navigation, but experience is showing that installation and approval alone are not enough to achieve this goal.
ECDIS is possible to be hacked, causing confusion regarding the size and the location of vessels, in order to trigger other ships’ collision alarms. This could possibly block the English Channel, even though the University of Plymouth’s Maritime Cyber Threats said that reaching the worst case scenario is extremely unlikely.
Port State Control (PSC) is the internationally agreed regime for the inspection of foreign ships in other national ports by official PSC inspectors. Inspectors are focusing, among others, to safety of navigation as one of the main aspects of safety on board. As ECDIS became a vital part of bridge culture, PSCOs have become more experienced on related issues.
Considering that most accidents are contributed to the human element, ECDIS has come along in order to try and change the landscape. However, there are many cases which showcase the new technology involves many challenges that cannot be ignored. The improper use of ECDIS can result in accidents; therefore a change in operators’ mindset is required.
As mentioned in the previous article of our Bridge Procedure series, since ECDIS is a complex system, it is critical to clarify what should be done in cases of an emergency situations. Intermittent signal and GNSS failure while using the ECDIS is one of them.
The previous article in our “Bridge Procedures” series focused on the necessary steps during the ECDIS setup. Since ECDIS is a complex system, at this point, it is critical to clarify what should be done in the case of a failure.
In todays shipping industry, it is beyond doubt that ECDIS has become the main tool for watchkeeping officers on board ships. As a result the Masters, navigating officers, and ship-owners should be aware of the benefits of the chart display, the safety settings, and the alarm system of ECDIS.
Mr. Carl Durow, Loss Prevention Manager at the London P&I Club, says that ECDIS is a top loss prevention concern for the coming years, explaining that further action is needed for a successful integration of ECDIS into fleets. ECDIS Type specific training and IMO generic course training should not stop at sea, Mr. Durow highlights, discussing also other loss prevention challenges.
Transport Malta released its investigation report, regarding the accident on 13 May 2017, with the Maltese registered bulk carrier Universal Durban. The ship while on passage from Bell Bay, Tasmania to Bintulu, Malaysia, ran aground on a shoal at 12 knots, South of the island of Pulau Serasan. The vessel sustained minor damages in the bow area and bottom shell plating.
Maritime software solutions provider “Nautisk” has announced that it is cooperating with “MarineMTS” to provide automatic ENC updates to vessels sailing with ECDIS. Marine MTS will provide both the hardware and the protocols needed to access the ECDIS with Nautisk providing the content and software.
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