Capt. Kinsey, who is one of the lead authors of the ‘Safety & Shipping Review’ by Allianz, notes that although there is a significant improvement in terms of maritime safety, there is still need to address the ‘culture of risk taking’ in the industry.
The Paris MoU conducted a Concentrated Inspection Campaign on Safety of Navigation including ECDIS jointly with the Tokyo MOU between 1 September 2017 and 30 November 2017. During the CIC, 4,288 inspections were carried out, with the total CIC detention rate per individual ship being 3.5%.
Industry stakeholders have discussed a lot about the pros and cons of paperless navigation concluding that ECDIS does have an edge over the traditional paper chart navigation. However, the question for the navigating officers remains the same. Can they steer the vessel, following a pre scheduled passage plan, avoiding grounding?
TAIC issued a report on the grounding of the cruise ship ‘L’Austral’, at Milford Sound, on 9 February 2017, revealing an insufficient use of electronic navigation systems. The ship was involved in another incident one month earlier, when it entered an unauthorised zone and struck an uncharted rock.
In the latest issue of Signals newsletter by North P&I Club, John Southam, Loss Prevention Executive, shares his views with respect to GPS, citing common problems that impede safe navigation and best practice for navigational officers to maintain good situational awareness.
Transport Malta’s MSIU issued an investigation report on the grounding of the Maltese registered container ship ‘Kea Trader’ in the Pacific ocean. In a first of its kind situation, the six-months-old ship, owned by Lomar Shipping, ran aground on 12 July 2017 and remains on site until today.
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.
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