Ship hardening measures are all physical security measures taken with the aim to improve vessel’s integrity in security threats which can be achieved through three defense layers; either with the implementation of operational measures (1st defense layer) i.e. watchkeeping, maneuvering, speed, armed security contractors, or with equipment related measures (2nd defense layer or with citadels onboard (3rd defense layer).
Japanese shipping company MOL and electronics firm Furuno Electric Co., Ltd. made a joint presentation of their advanced augmented reality (AR)-based Navigation System. The system provides visual support to crew members during their watch-keeping and ship operations by using AR technology.
According to STCW Convention, ratings must meet minimum standards of medical fitness, minimum age (if designated with watchkeeping duties), competence (if designated with watchkeeping duties), and seagoing service time (if designated with watch- keeping duties).
In 1978, IMO adopted a landmark Convention for all seafarers across the world to establish high standards of competence and professionalism in their duties on-board. The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, the STCW Convention in brief, establishes the minimum basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers on an international level.
A recent shift to automation and new technologies makes imminent the need of additional skills for seafarers to adequately respond to new requirements. In 2017-2018, the Shipowners Club ran a survey to investigate whether alarms on the bridge affected the attention and focus of bridge watchkeepers.
ATSB issued a report on the collision between the container ship ‘Beijing Bridge’ with the fishing vessel ‘Saxon Onward’, in the Tasman Sea, off Gabo Island, on 23 January 2018. The report identified the ship’s alteration of course and the insufficient lookout in darkness as the key causes of the accident.
South Africa has become the 25th State to sign up to the IMO treaty on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F). The Convention sets the certification and minimum training requirements for crews of seagoing fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and above.
On 10 October 2017, the Netherlands-flagged general cargo vessel ‘Ruyter’ ran aground off Rathlin Island when the master, who was the watchkeeper, left the bridge unattended. The UK MAIB issued an investigation report on the incident, noting that the master had been consuming alcohol prior to taking over the watch.
Finnish Government submitted a bill on ships’ crews and the safety management of ships, promoting autonomous tests in maritime transport. Under the submission, in future, exemptions to minimum vessel manning requirements and watchkeeping may be made for a fixed term in order to promote technological innovations.
On 23 June 2015, in daylight with clear visibility, ‘Jag Arnav’ and ‘Total Response’ collided about 26 NM north-west of Bunbury, Western Australia. Jag Arnav sustained minor damage and no injuries to the crew. The ATSB investigation identified the poor lookout and lack of alertness as key causes of the accident.
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