Knowing exactly where we are at each time is a key component of safe navigation and the use of GPS and ECDIS provide this capability nowadays, but the continuing trend to rely solely on this means of navigation rather than to cross-check with other independent and reliable navigation techniques introduces a significant risk, CHIRP notes.
Ship groundings and collisions still occur with depressing regularity, and are often attributed to errors in navigation. In the UK P&I Club’s latest LookOut, Risk Assessor David Nichol, highlights some of the contributory factors and suggests steps to ensure navigational safety.
As explained, there have been a significant number of collisions where subsequent investigations have found that at some stage before impact, one or both parties were using VHF radio in an attempt to avoid collision. The use of VHF radio in these circumstances is not always helpful and may even prove to be dangerous.
The US Coast Guard advised mariners on how to achieve safe navigation in case of GPS interference, as approximately 20 vessels transiting the northeast portion of the Black Sea have experienced such cases from June 2017.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands issued a letter to advise that the United States Coast Guard Navigation Center has issued an Advisory Notice stating that a number of GPS users have recently reported system outages.
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