What are the requirements for VDRs?

Radars , radios and lights on ship's gantry mast

Voyage Data Recorders- the Maritime’Black box’

A quick guide to  The SOLAS requirements

The blog now returns to the series of posts on SOLAS V with a topic that follows on nicely from the last post on MAIB accident reporting requirements.

 

SOLAS V-Regulation 20 – Voyage Data Recorders

Click here for the UK MCA guidance of Regulation 20>

Why are VDRs required?

To assist in casualty investigations.

VDR Capsule as shown on IMO website, click to visit the site

Click For IMO page on VDRs

Click here for the IMO page on VDRs>

Which ships require to be fitted with an SDR?

Ships, when engaged on international voyages:

  • All passenger ships
  • Ships, other than passenger ships, of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed on or after 1 July 2002

Which ships must be fitted with a VDR or a simplified voyage data recorder (S-VDR)?

  • Cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards

Non-passenger ships on or above 3000 GT built after July 2002, and all passanger ships must have a VDR. Non-passenger ships built before July 2002 must have either a VDR or SVDR.  SDRs are Simplified data recorders that have less inputs then a full VDR.

What is a VDR?

Full information can be found at:

What is a VDRs Purpose

To maintain a store, in a secure and retrievable form, information concerning the position, movement, physical status, command and control of a ship over the period leading up to and following an incident.

This information is for use during any subsequent safety investigation to identify the causes of the incident.

Click here for MSC 1024-GUIDELINES ON VOYAGE DATA RECORDER (VDR)
OWNERSHIP AND RECOVERY

Who should the VDR information be made available to?

Information contained in a VDR should be made available to both the Administration and the shipowner.

What is included within the term ‘VDR’?

The complete system, including:

  • Any items required to interface with the sources of input signals and their processing and encoding
  • The final recording medium
  • The playback equipment
  • The power supply and dedicated reserve power source

img_20160915_132855_hdr_kindlephoto-117081169.jpg

What must a VDR do?

  • Continuously maintain sequential records of pr-selected data items relating to the status and output of the ship’s equipment, and command and control of the ship
  • Allow analysis of factors surrounding an incident
  • Include functions to perform a performance test at any time

The final recording medium should consist of the following items:

  • Fixed recording medium-Capable of being accessed after an accident- maintain data for 2 years after termination
  • Float-free recording medium;-6 months after termination,this is to  transmit a homing signal
  • Long-term recording medium- Accessible internaly

What Data items are to be recorded?Main mast

  • Date and time– From an external source
  • Ship’s position-From electronic position fixing system
  • Speed– over water and over ground
  • Heading– As ship’s heading source
  • Bridge audio-Covering all bridge workstations. At least 2 channels
  • Communications audio– On separate channel
  • Radar-Main displays of both radar installations
  • ECDIS-Record the display of ECDIS in use as primary means of navigation
  • Echo sounder– Depth information
  • Main alarms– Status of mandatory alarms
  • Rudder order and response– Includes settings of heading or track controller
  • Engine and thruster order and response-positions of any engine telegraphs or direct engine/propeller/Thruster controls, feedback indications and the control station in use
  • Hull openings status– To include all mandatory status information required to be carried on the bridge
  • Watertight and fire door status— To include all mandatory status information required to be carried on the bridge
  • Accelerations and hull stresses- When a ship is fitted with hull stress and response monitoring equipment
  • Wind speed and direction– Where a ship is fitted with a suitable sensor, wind speed and direction
  • AIS- All AIS data should be recorded
  • Rolling motion– If electronic inclinometer

What is a S-DVR?

A simplified voyage data recorder that fulfils the same requirements of an VDR, but with less inputs. They can be carried by cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards instead of a VDR built after July 2002.

For full information see

IMO  RESOLUTION MSC.163(78)- PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR SHIPBORNE SIMPLIFIED VOYAGE DATA RECORDERS (S-VDRs)

What data items need to be recorded by a S-VDR?

  • Date and time– From an external source
  • Ship’s position-From electronic position fixing system
  • Speed– over water and over ground
  • Heading– As ship’s heading source
  • Bridge audio-Covering all bridge workstations. At least 2 channels
  • Communications audio– On separate channel
  • Radar data,- Main displays of of radar installations
  • AIS Data-If it is impossible to obtain radar data3 then AIS target data should be recorded as a source of information regarding other ships. If radar data is recorded,, AIS information may be recorded additionally as a  secondary source of information
  • Other items– Any additional data items required for a VDR should be recorded when the data is available.

Surveys and inspections

For more information see:

What test is the VDR and SDV-R subject to?

The voyage data recorder system, including all sensors, shall be subjected to an annual performance test.  The test shall be conducted by an approved testing or servicing facility

What is the objective of the annual VDR test?

  • To verify the accuracy, duration and recoverability of the recorded data
  • To determine the serviceability of all protective enclosures and devices fitted to aid location

A copy of the certificate of compliance issued by the testing facility, stating the date of compliance and the applicable performance standards, shall be retained on board the ship.


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These guides by Navsbooks cover

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  • IALA
  • ISM code
  • Safe Seamanship
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Marine Incident Reporting- what does MGN 564 say?

A Handy Summary to MGN 564 on Marine Casualty and Marine Incident Reporting.

A shipwreck near Port Stanley

A Quick break from SOLAS V posts to look at a new important M Notice from the UK MAIB.Click to view the MGN on the UK GOV website

The UK MAIB has recently issued a new M Notice MGN 564(M + F) on  Marine Casualty and Marine Incident Reporting. This explains what accidents and near misses needs to be reported to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

Recommend sources of information

The M Notice

What ships are required to report incidents?

  • A UK ship
  • A ship is within UK waters and carrying passengers to/from the UK
  • The marine casualty or marine incident occurs within the jurisdiction of a UK harbour master

Which other organisations are required to report incidents?

  • Harbour authorities, for occurrences in or adjacent to their harbour area
  • The person, authority or body having responsibility for an inland waterway

Which vessels do not have to report?

  • Recreational craft hired on a bareboat basis
  • Commercial craft or boats <8m length overall that are operating in a harbour or on an inland waterway, which are not carrying passengers
  • Unless the marine casualty involves an explosion, fire, or capsize of a power driven vessel, or results in death, serious injury or severe pollution

A pleasure vessel (though notifications are welcomed).Click to view MAIB accident reports

The definition of a pleasure vessel is covered later in this post.

What has to be reported?

  • Marine casualties
  • Marine incidents

What is a marine casualty?

  • An event or sequence of events that occurred directly in connection with the operation of a ship, and resulted in:
  • Death
  • A serious injury to, a person that renders the person unable to perform their usual duties for greater 72 hours, or requires their admittance to a hospital / medical facility for greater than 24 hours
  • The loss of a person from a ship
  • The loss, presumed loss or abandonment of a ship.
  • Material damage to a ship. This means the structural integrity, performance or operational characteristics of the ship or infrastructure are significantly affected, and requires major repair or replacement of a major component or components
  • The ship being unfit to proceed, or requires flag state approval or a condition of class before it may proceed
  • At sea, a breakdown of the ship, requiring towage.
  • The stranding or disabling of a ship, or the involvement of a ship in a collision
  • Material damage to marine infrastructure external of a ship that could seriously endanger the safety of the ship, another ship or any individual
  • Pollution, caused by damage to a ship or ships

What is a marine incident?

A marine incident means an event, or sequence of events, which occurred directly in connection with the operation of a ship, that do not meet the criteria to be classified as a marine casualty but that endangered or, if not corrected would endanger, the safety of the ship, its occupants or any other person or the environment.

Examples of marine incidents include:

  • Close-quarters situations where urgent action was required to avoid collision.
  • Any event that had the potential to result in a serious injury.
  • A fire that did not result in material damage.
  • An unintended temporary grounding on soft mud, where there was no risk of stranding or material damage.
  • A person overboard who was recovered without serious injury.
  • Snagging of fishing gear resulting in a dangerous heel

What is not to be reported?

There is no requirement to report:

  • Defects to equipment and vessel detentions, unless they are related to a marine casualty or marine incident
  • Injuries to passengers that did not result from activities connected with the operation of the vessel. For example: a passenger suffering a fall on board a ship, where the ship’s movement, design, or acts or omissions by crew were not contributing factors
  • Damage or injuries occurring ashore, including the quayside, which do not involve the ship’s equipment
  • A deliberate act or omission that is intended to cause harm to the safety of a ship, an individual (e.g. assault, suicide or homicide) or the environment

When is the report to be made?

All marine casualties and marine incidents must be notified to the MAIB as soon as practicable by the quickest means available. Notification must not be delayed until the completion of an internal company investigation.

How is the report to be made?

  • By telephone to  MAIB’s 24 hour accident reporting line.
  • By submitting an Accident Report Form (ARF)

Rocky coastline in Cornwall

Pleasure vessels

What is a pleasure vessel?

A vessel which is:

Wholly owned by an individual or individuals and used only for the sport or Small craft at Portsmouth Hard, HMS Warrior in the backgroundpleasure of the owner or the immediate family or friends of the owner

Or

Owned by a body corporate and used only for the sport or pleasure of employees or officers of the body corporate, or their immediate family or friends

And

Is on a voyage which the owner is not paid for.

The Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2005 contains more details and explanation of a pleasure vessel.

Incident reporting and SOLAS

Click here for the IMO page on casualty investigation>

What SOLAS regulation requires accident investigation?NAVSREGSOLASCover

SOLAS 1 Regulation 21 requires each Administration to conduct an investigation of any casualty occurring to any of its ships when it judges that such an investigation may assist in determining what changes in the present regulations might be desirable.

What is the Casualty investigation code?

This is a code that Administrations must follow when investing marine incidents. It is introduced by SOLAS Chapter XI-1, Regulation 6 -Additional Requirements for the Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents.

Click here for a copy of the code>


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What are thr Carriage requirements for shippborne Navigation systems and equipment?

 

 A Quick Guide to SOLAS V Regulations 19

A ferry enclosed Navigation Bridge

This series of posts on SOLAS V continues with a quick guide on the requirements for the carriage of Navigation equipment. 

General

What regulation covers the Carriage requirements for ship’s navigation systems?

SOLAS V, Regulation 19- Carriage requirements for shipborne navigational systems and equipment.

What equipment is included within the regulation?

Click here to view the Regulation on the UK MCA website>

What ships need to comply with SOLAS V?

  •  New ships (1 July 2002) must comply fully with the requirements of this regulation.
  •  Existing ships may continue to comply with the regulations in force before 1 July 2002 except that they must be fitted with a GNSS receiver (which replaces the requirement for a RDF receiver) and AIS in accordance with a specified timetable

Click here for a table on the UK MCA website of carriage requirements>

Direction and SpeedEnclosed bridge wing

Compasses

What is the requirement to carry a Magnetic compass?

All ships irrespective of size shall have:

  • A properly adjusted standard magnetic compass or other means, independent of any power supply to determine the ship’s heading and display the reading at the main steering position
  • A pelorus or compass bearing device, or other means, independent of any power supply to take bearings over an arc of the horizon of 360°
  • Means of correcting heading and bearings to true at all times

All ships of 150 gross tonnage and upwards and passenger ships irrespective of size shall, in addition be fitted with:

  • A spare magnetic compass interchangeable with the magnetic compass, or other means to perform the function referred to by replacement or duplicate equipment

All ships of 300 gross tonnage and upwards and passenger ships irrespective of size shall, in addition:

  • A properly adjusted transmitting heading device, or other means to transmit heading information for input to specified equipment

Ferry bridge from astern

What are the requirements to carry a Gyro Compass?

All ships of 500 gross tonnage and upwards shall, in addition have:

  • A gyro compass, or other means, to determine and display their heading by shipborne non-magnetic means, being clearly readable by the helmsman at the main steering position. These means shall also transmit heading information for input to specified equipment.
  • A  gyro compass heading repeater, or other means, to supply heading information visually at the emergency steering position if provided
  • A gyro compass bearing repeater, or other means, to take bearings, over an arc of the horizon of 360º, using the gyro compass or other means. However ships less than 1,600 gross tonnage shall be fitted with such means as far as possible

Heading Control

What is the requirement for a heading or track control systems?BridgeandMoon

All ships of 10,000 gross tonnage and upwards shall, in addition have:

  • A heading or track control system, or other means, to automatically control and keep to a heading and/or straight track

All ships of 50,000 gross tonnage and upwards shall have:

  • A rate of turn indicator, or other means, to determine and display the rate of turn

Speed

What is the requirement to carry speed monitoring equipment?

All ships of 300 gross tonnage and upwards and all passenger ships:

  • Speed and distance measuring device, or other means, to indicate speed and distance through the water

All ships of 500 gross tonnage and upwards:

  • Rudder, propeller, thrust, pitch and operational mode indicators, or other means to determine and display rudder angle, propeller revolutions, the force and direction of thrust and, if applicable, the force and direction of lateral thrust and the pitch and operational mode, all to be readable from the conning position

All ships of 50,000 gross tonnage and upwards have:

Condor Ferry leaving Portsmouth

  • A speed and distance measuring device, or other means, to indicate speed and distance over the ground in the forward and athwartships direction

Navigation

Charts and publications

What is the requirement for a ship to carry navigational Charts?

Vessels of any size shall carry:

  • Nautical charts and nautical publications to plan and display the ship’s route for the intended voyage and to plot and monitor positions throughout the voyage.
  • An electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) is also accepted as meeting the chart carriage requirements
  • A back-up arrangement  if this function is partly or fully fulfilled by electronic means

An appropriate folio of paper nautical charts may be used as a back-up arrangement for ECDIS.

What is the requirement to carry ECDIS?

Ships engaged on international voyages shall be fitted with an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) as follows:

Ships built since 2012

  •  Passenger ships of 500 gross tonnage and upwards constructed on or after 1 July Commodore Clipper's bidge2012
  • Tankers of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed on or after 1 July 2012
    Cargo ships, other than tankers, of 10,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed on or after 1 July 2013
  • Cargo ships, other than tankers, of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards but less than 10,000 gross tonnage constructed on or after 1 July 2014
  • Passenger ships of 500 gross tonnage and upwards constructed before 1 July 2012, not later than the first survey on or after 1 July 2014

Ships built prior to 2012

  • Tankers of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed before 1 July 2012, not later than the first survey on or after 1 July 2015
  • Cargo ships, other than tankers, of 50,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed before 1 July 2013, not later than the first survey on or after 1 July 2016
  • Cargo ships, other than tankers, of 20,000 gross tonnage and upwards but less than 50,000 gross tonnage constructed before 1 July 2013, not later than the first survey on or after 1 July 2017
  • Cargo ships, other than tankers, of 10,000 gross tonnage and upwards but less than 20,000 gross tonnage constructed before 1 July 2013, not alter than the first survey on or after 1 July 2018

Click here for a copy of resolution A.817(19)>

Position Fixing

What position fixing must be carried?

  • A receiver for a global navigation satellite system or a terrestrial radio navigationMain mast system, or other means, suitable for use at all times throughout the intended voyage to establish and update the ship’s position by automatic means

What the requirement to carry an Echo Sounder?

All ships of 300 gross tonnage and upwards:

  • An echo sounding device, or other electronic means, to measure and display the available depth of water

Collision Avoidance

Radar

What radar equipment must a ship carry?

If less than 150 gross tonnage and if practicable:

  • A radar reflector or other means, to enable detection by ships navigating by radar at both 9 and 3 GHZ

All ships of 300 gross tonnage and upwards and passenger ships:

  • A 9 GHz radar, or other means to determine and display the range and bearing of radar transponders and of other surface craft, obstructions, buoys, shorelines and navigational marks to assist in navigation and in collision avoidance
  • An electronic plotting aid, or other means, to plot electronically the range and bearing of targets to determine collision risk

All ships of 3000 gross tonnage and upwards shall, in addition have:

  • A 3 GHz radar or where considered appropriate by the Administration a second 9 GHz radar, or other means to determine and display the range and bearing of other surface craft, obstructions, buoys, shorelines and navigational marks to assist in navigation and in collision avoidance
  • A second automatic tracking aid, or other means to plot automatically the range
  • and bearing of other targets to determine collision risk

All ships of 10,000 gross tonnage and upwards shall, in addition have:

  • An automatic radar plotting aid (ARPA)  or other means, to plot automatically the range and bearing of at least 20 other targets, connected to a device to indicate speed and distance through the water, to determine collision risks and simulate a trial manoeuvre

CommunicationsSunset through a bridge window

Internal

What is the requirement for internal communications to steering positions?

  • A telephone, or other means, to communicate heading information to the emergency steering position, if provided

External

What must be fitted to an enclosed bridge?

  • When the ship’s bridge is totally enclosed and unless the Administration determines otherwise, a sound reception system, or other means, to enable the officer in charge of the navigational watch to hear sound signals and determine their direction

What  visual means of communication must be carried?

All ships of 150 gross tonnage and upwards and passenger ships irrespective of size:

  • A daylight signalling lamp, or other means to communicate by light during day and night using an energy source of electrical power not solely dependent upon the ship’s power supply

AIS

What ships must carry an AIS?Geared general cargo ship

All ships of 300 gross tonnage and upwards engaged on international voyages and cargo ships of 500 gross tonnage and upwards not engaged on international voyages and passenger ships irrespective of size shall be fitted with an automatic identification

What functions must an AIS provide?

  • Provide automatically to appropriately equipped shore stations, other ships and aircraft information, including the ship’s identity, type, position, course, speed, navigational status and other safety-related information
  • Receive automatically such information from similarly fitted ships;
  • Monitor and track ships
  • Exchange data with shore-based facilities

When Must AIS be used?

Ships fitted with AIS shall maintain AIS in operation at all times except where international agreements, rules or standards provide for the protection of navigational information.

Click for UK MCA guidance on the use of AIS>

Click for IMO A 917(22) Guidelines for use of AIS

Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System (BNAWS)

Which ships are required to carry a BNAWS?

  • All ships of 150 gross tonnage and upwards and all passenger ship

When must a BNAWS be used?

The bridge navigational watch alarm system shall be in operation whenever the ship is underway at sea.

Click here for IACS requirements concerning navigation>
Click to search for the Bridge Procedures Guide on Amazon>


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Bridge Visibility- Regulation 22 of SOLAS V

Bridge front of a ship

A Handy Guide

A good visual lookout is the foundation of a navigational watch.  It therefore forms the most important element of a bridge design, and is subject to its own SOLAS regulation. This post looks at that SOLAS regulation, and the related IMO  guidelines. 

Rule 5 Collision Regulations- Lookout

“Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and risk of collision.”

What ships need to comply with Regulation 22 of SOLAS V?

Ships of not less than 55 metres in length constructed after 1st of July 1988.

Field of view

How close should an officer of the watch be able to see ahead?

The view of the sea surface from the conning position shall not be obscured by:

  • More than two ship lengths

Or

  •  500 metres

Whichever is the less, forward of the bow to 10° on either side under all conditions of draught, trim and deck cargo.

How large can blind sectors be forward of the beam?

  • No single blind arc shall exceed 10°.
  • Total blind sectors shall not exceed  20°.
  • Clear sectors between blind arcs shall be at least be  5°
  • In the view 10 either side of bow no sector should exceed  5°

These figures are important to remember when loading deck cargo.

How big must the horizontal field of vision be from the conning position?

An arc of not less than 225°, that is from right ahead to not less than 22.5°, abaft the beam on either side of the ship.

These values align with the Collision Regulations definition of an overtaking vessel, and the masthead light sectors.

Collision Regulations Rule 13(b)-Overtaking

“A vessel shall be deemed to be overtaking when coming up with another vessel from a direction of more than 22.5 abaft her beam, that is, in such a position in reference to the vessel she is overtaking, that at night  she would be able to see only the strern light of that vessel but neither of her sidelights.”

Bridge of a ship in Bidston Docks

How big should the field of vision be from the bridge wings?

  • An  arc at least 225°, that is from at least 45° on the opposite bow through right ahead and then from right ahead to right astern through 180° on the same side of the ship
  • The ship’s side shall be visible from the bridge wing

What should the horizontal field of vision be from the main steering position?

Over an arc from right ahead to at least 60° on each side of the ship.

An old Tug's bridge windowThe Bridge Windows

How tall should bridge windows be?

  • The lower edge of the navigation bridge front windows above the bridge deck shall be kept as low as possible.
  • In no case shall the lower edge present an obstruction to the forward view as required in the regulation.
  •  The upper edge of the navigation bridge front windows shall allow a forward view of the horizon, for a person with a height of eye of 1.8 metres above the bridge deck at the conning position, when the ship is pitching in heavy seas.

What are the requirements of bridge Windows?

  • The bridge front windows shall be inclined from the vertical plane top out, at an angle of not less than 10° and not more than 25°.
  •  Framing between navigation bridge windows shall be kept to a minimum and not be installed immediately forward of any work station.
  • Polarised and tinted windows shall not be fitted.
  •  A clear view through at least two of the navigation bridge front windows shall be provided.

Ballast water exchange and bridge visibility

When can ballast water exchange be conducted?

  • When the master has determined that it is safe to do so and takes into consideration any increased blind sectors or reduced horizontal fields of vision resulting from the operation to ensure that a proper lookout is maintained at all times
  • When the exchange is conducted in accordance with the ship’s ballast water management plan
  • The commencement and termination of the operation are recorded in the ship’s record of navigational activities as required by regulation 28

Conning position is a  place on the bridge with a commanding view and which is used by navigators when commanding, manoeuvring and controlling a ship.

Additional requirements of MSC 982

MSC982

MSC Circ 982 contains guidelines on ergonomic criterial for bridge equipment and layout. These guidelines support Regulation 15 of SOLAS chapter V.

Click here to view MSC Circ 982 on the IMO website>

Some of these guidelines are summarised below.

Field of Vision around the Ship

There should be a field of vision around the vessel of 360° obtained by an observer moving within the confines of the wheelhouse.

Therefore, by moving around the bridge it should be possible to see all around the vessel.

Navigating and Manoeuvring Workstation

An old tug's rear bridge windows

Over an arc of not less than 225°, that is from right ahead to not less than 22.5°, abaft the beam on either side of the ship

Monitoring Workstation

At least over an arc from 90°  from 22.5 on the port bow, through forward, to 22.5° abaft the beam on starboard bow.

Bridge Wing

Should extend over an arc at least 225°, that is at least 45° on the opposite bow through right ahead and then from right ahead to right astern through 180° on the same side of the ship

Main Steering Position

From right ahead to at least 60° on each side of the ship.

Bridge wings should be provided out to the maximum beam of the ship. The view over the ship’s side should not be obstructed.

WindowsBridgeCool

Lower Edge of the Front Window

The height of the lower edge of the front windows should allow a forward view over the bow for a person in a sitting position at the workstation for navigating and manoeuvring and the workstation for monitoring.

Removable Sunscreens

To ensure a clear view and to avoid reflections in bright sunshine, sunscreens with minimum colour distortion should be provided at all windows. Such screens should be readily removable and not permanently installed.

Glass Characteristics

Polarized and tinted windows should not be fitted.


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Guidelines for Navigational Bridge design

A ships wheel House and bridge wingWhat does MSC Circ 982 cover?

A handy guide

The last post covered the navigation bridge design principles as
required by SOLAS V; this post goes into more detail into how these principles are applied.



MSC Circ 982 contains guidelines on ergonomic criterial for bridge equipment and layyout. These guidelines support Regulation 15 of SOLAS chapter V. The
guidelines are designed to support watchkeeping by a user-centered design of the bridge layout and its equipment. This  post gives an overview of the scope of the guidelines, an overview that will assist in identifying what elements of a bridge are included.

What are the elements of navigation bridge design covered in MSC/Circ 982?

Click here for a copy of MSC Circ 982>

What are the navigation bridge workstations?

A workstation is combination of all job related items for certain tasks; this
includes devices equipment and furnitiure.

  • Navigating and manoeuvring– The main workstation for
    shiphandling
  • Monitoring-The position from which equipment and
    environment can be observed
  • Manual steering-Helmsman’s position
  • Docking-Bridge wings
  • Planning and documentation-Postion used for route
    planning, fixing and documention
  • Saftey-Workstation for monitering safety systems
  • Communications– Workstation for operating GMDSS

Appendix 2 of MSC 982 conatains lists of equipment that should be at each
workstation.

What are the factors regarding bridge layout?

These are the factors that determine where all the key items should be placed
on a bridge.

  • Sight– Field of vision, blind sectors,windows,
    suncreens
  • Arrangement-Bridge dimensions, view of the deck, window
    access, workstation position, communications
  • Accessibility and movement– clear routes, passageway
    dimensions

Some of these factors play an important role in mantaining a lookout (COLREG
Rule 5), and therefore will be looked at in a bit more detail in another post.

What are the elements covered in the work
enviroment?

These are factors that can influence the quality of bridge watchkeeping.

  • Climate-Temprature, humidity
  • Ventilation and Air-conditioning– Air disharges, air
    velcities
  • Noise and Acoustics– levels of noise
  • Vibration-Levels of vibration
  • Illumination and Lighting-Level of lighting, dark
    adaptation, contrast, adjustability, glare, reflection
  • Occupational Safety-non-slip, sharp edges, hand rails,
    safety equipment marking

Bridge of a Fyffe ship

What does MSC cover regarding the workstation
Layout?

Without such guidelines the layout of workstations can be chaotic, inconsistent
and difficult to use.

  • Consoles-Area, viewing angles, heights, leg room, chart
    table dimensions, chair design
  • Devices,Control and Display Integration– Logical
    arrangement, consistency, locations, high priority displays
  • Arrangement and Grouping of Controls-Pacement, location
    of primary controls, consitency, spacing
  • Display Arrangement-Field of view, viewing area
  • Labelling of Controls and Displays-Functional
    labelling, terminology
  • Lighting of Devices-Dimming,



What guidelines are contained regarding alarms?

  • Alarm Management– Alarm acknowledgement, fire and
    emergency alarms, power failure, alarm status, testing, presentation, modes
  • Visual Alarms-Discrimination, presentation, flash rate,
    night vision
  • Audible Alarms– Use of audible alarms, sound characteristic, sound
    pressure, frequency

What do the guidelines cover regarding Input devices?

  • Movement of Controls- Direction of control
  • Corresponding movements-Consistent with related
    movement
  • Return to Navigation monitering mode-Single operator
    action only to revert from planning mode
  • Minimal User Actions– Actions used to be simlple,
    minimum number of actions required
  • Feedback– Visual, auditory oe mechanical feedback
    provided to indicate imput
  • Operation of controls– Easy to identify and operate
  • Accessibility– Most important/frequently used functions
    easily visible and accessible
  • Operation of controls for Important functions- Require
    only single action
  • Assignment of controls of Important functions-Should be
    assigned to only one functionn
  • Accidental input-Designed to prevent accidental
    manipulation

Bridge wing of a ferry

What topics are covered regarding Information
Display?

  • General Display Requirements-Lack of ambiguity, use of
    digital displays, updating information, information duration, simplicity,
    uncluttered displays, important information, graphic display, scale,
    distance judgement
  • Arrangement of Visual Information-Screen organization,
    grouping of information, group demarcation, consistency
  • Visual Display Units (VDU)-Night vision, dat and night
    legibility, background colour, resolution, contrast, luminance, flicker,
    continuity, linearity
  • Coding and Highlighting-Highlighting selected data,
    flash coding for alarms, colour discrimination, colour difference, standard
    shapes
  • Display Elements-Font, abberviations, units of
    measurement, icons, size of symbols and icons, highlighting, scaling
    intervals, scale expansion, grid displays

What does the guidelines on Interactive Control
cover?

  • General User Input Guidelines-Consitent procedures,
    standard procedures, consistent wording, unnessary information entry,
    available options
  • User Input Formats-Logical order, consistent menu
    design, minimal steps in meny selection, return to high level menus, return
    to general menu, menu titles, on/off items, form filling entry
  • System Operational Information-system status, mode,
    status of sensors, planned and actual data, position information sources,
    simulated operations
  • System Response-standard display location, familar
    wording, periodic feedback, warnings, error messages, on-line guidance
  • Prevention/Detection/Correction of Errors– Protection
    of data loss, segregating real and simulated data

Further Information Sources

Some of the factors mentioned in the post have significance to officer of the watches, and those factors I will explore in the next posting.

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SOLAS V and Navigational Bridge Design

Container Ship Bridge at Portsmouth

A Handy Summary

This series of posts on SOLAS V, Safety of navigation now explores a group of regulations concerned with the navigational bridge. 

What Regulation covers Navigational Bridge Design?

SOLAS Regulation 15 – ‘Principles Relating to Bridge Design, Design and Arrangement of Navigational Systems and Equipment and Bridge Procedures.‘ The principles in this Regulation must be taken into account when complying with the following SOLAS regulations:

  • 19-Carriage requirements for shipborne navigational systems and equipment
  • 22-Navigation bridge visibility
  • 24-Use of heading and/or track control systems
  • 25-Operation of main source of electrical power and steering gear
  • 27-Nautical charts and nautical publications
  • 28-Records of navigational activities and daily reporting

These regulations will be covered in later posts.

What are the principles of Navigational Bridge Design?

Bridge of a Fyffe ship

Bridge design must:

Appraisal-Facilitate the tasks to be performed by the bridge team and the pilot in making full appraisal of the situation and in navigating the ship safely under all  conditions.

Bridge Resources-Promote effective and safe bridge resource management.

Information access-Enable the bridge team and the pilot to have convenient and continuous access to essential information.

Information presentation-Present information in a clear and unambiguous manner, using standardized symbols for controls and displays.

Status indication-Indicate the operational status of automated functions and integrated components and systems.

Decision making-Allow for expeditious, continuous and effective information processing and decision-making by the bridge team and the pilot.

Distractions-Prevent or minimize excessive or unnecessary work and any conditions or distractions on the bridge which may cause fatigue or interfere with the vigilance of the bridge team and the pilot.

Human error-Minimize the risk of human error and detecting such error, if it occurs, through monitoring and alarm systems, in time for the bridge team and the pilot to take appropriate action.

Click here for the UK MCA guidance on Regulation 15, and the text of the regulation> 

Rule 5 of the Collision Regulations

These design principles support the most important rule in the COLREGS, Rule 5

“Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight an

Click to view this Handy Revision Guide for Kindle on Amazon

d hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and or the risk of collision.”

Where to look for more detailed information

The broad principles of Regulation 15 will be expanded with some practical detail in tne next post when I dig into Circular 982.


Further Reading

To find copies of the Bridge Procedures Guide on Amazon click here>

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The Pilot ladders and accommodation The Pilot ladder-Accommodation ladder combination

Pilot boat bowA handy revision guide to pilot boarding specifications

This series of posts based on SOLAS V continues to explore some of the details behind Regulation 23, Pilot Transfer arrangements. This time exploring the specifications within Resolution A.1045(27) covering combined accommodation ladder/Pilot ladder arrangements.

Why would a combined arrangement be required?

In accordance with SOLAS V an accommodation ladder shall be used in conjunction with the pilot ladder, or other equally safe and convenient means, whenever the distance from the surface of the water to the point of access to the ship is more than 9 m.

The IMO Resolution A.1045(27) contains the specializations for pilot transfer arrangements. This is available online from the IMO. Click here to download>

Accommodation ladders, together with any suspension arrangements or attachments
fitted and intended for use in accordance with this recommendation, should be to the
satisfaction of the flag state.

Angles

  • The length of the accommodation ladder should be sufficient to ensure that its angle of slope does not exceed 45°
  • In ships with large draft ranges, several pilot ladder hanging positions may be provided, resulting in lesser angles of slope
  • The lower platform of the accommodation ladder should be in a horizontal position
    and secured to the ship’s side when in use
  • Intermediate platforms, if fitted, should be self-levelling
  • Treads and steps of the accommodation ladder should be so designed that an adequate and safe foothold is given at the operative angles.

Dimensions

  • The accommodation ladder should be at least 600 mm in width.
    The lower platform should be a minimum of 5m above sea level
  • The pilot ladder should be rigged immediately adjacent to the lower platform of the
    accommodation ladder and the upper end should extend at least 2 m above the lower platform
  • The horizontal distance between the pilot ladder and the lower platform should be between 0.1 and 0.2 m

Fittings

  • The ladder and platform should be equipped on both sides with stanchions and rigid
    handrails, but if handropes are used they should be tight and properly secured
  • The vertical space between the handrail or handrope and the stringers of the ladder should be securely fenced.
  • If a trapdoor is fitted in the lower platform to allow access from and to the pilot
    ladder, the aperture should not be less than 750 mm x 750 mm
  • The trapdoor should open upwards and be secured either flat on the embarkation platform or against the rails at the aft end or outboard side of the platform and should not form part of the handholds

Really Handy Books Revision Guides for Kindle

gormleytankersternClick here to learn more about the guides>

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Pilot ladders- a quick guide to their specifications

PilotName

The last post covered the pilot boarding arrangements required by SOLAS V, this post delves a bit deeper into the detail with a summary of some of the specifications and dimensions of pilot ladders.

Where can the requirements for pilot ladders be found?

The IMO Resolution A.1045(27) contains the specializations for pilot ladders. This is available online from the IMO. Click here to download>

ISO 799:2004, Ships and marine technology – Pilot ladders

SOLAS also requires compliance with this International Standards Orginisation standard.

“ISO 799:2004 specifies requirements for a ship’s pilot ladder which is provided to enable a maritime pilot to embark and disembark a ship safely along a vertical portion of the ship’s hull. It is applicable to merchant ships which embark and disembark maritime pilots with the ship underway. National maritime safety administrations are urged to accept ladders complying with ISO 799:2004 on their ships, as complying fully with the requirements of the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), as amended.” ISO Website

Click here for a summary of the standard on the ISO website> 

Click here to buy ISO 799:2004 on Amazon>

What are the requirements of Pilot Ladder steps?

Material

  • If made of hardwood, they should be made in one piece, free of knots
  • If made of material other than hardwood, they should be of equivalent strength, stiffness and durability to the satisfaction of the Administration
  • The four lowest steps may be of rubber of sufficient strength and stiffness or other material to the satisfaction of the Administration
  • They should have an efficient non-slip surface

Dimensions

  • They should be not less than 400 mm between the side ropes, 115 mm wide and 25 mm in depth, excluding any non-slip device or grooving
  • They should be equally spaced not less than 310 mm or more than 350 mm apart
  • They should be secured in such a manner that each will remain horizontal

Replacement steps

  • No pilot ladder should have more than two replacement steps which are secured in position by a method different from that used in the original construction of the ladder
  •  Any steps so secured should be replaced as soon as reasonably practicable by steps secured in position by the method used in the original construction of the pilot ladder
  •  When any replacement step is secured to the side ropes of the pilot ladder by means of grooves in the sides of the step, such grooves should be in the longer sides of the step

Spreaders

  • Pilot ladders with more than five steps should have spreader steps not less than 1.8 m long provided at such intervals as will prevent the pilot ladder from twisting
  • The lowest spreader step should be the fifth step from the bottom of the ladder and the interval between any spreader step and the next should not exceed nine steps

What are the requirements for pilot ladder ropes and lines?

Retrieval line

  • When a retrieval line is considered necessary, the line should be fastened at or above the last spreader step and should lead forward. The retrieval line should not hinder the pilot nor obstruct the safe approach of the pilot boat
  • A permanent marking should be provided at regular intervals  throughout the length of the ladder in order to assist in the rigging of the ladder to the required height

Ropes

  • The side ropes of the pilot ladder should consist of two uncovered ropes not less than 18 mm in diameter on each side and should be continuous, with no joints and have a breaking strength of at least 24 Kilo Newtons per side rope
  •  The two side ropes should each consist of one continuous length of rope, the midpoint half-length being located on a thimble large enough to accommodate at least two passes of side rope
  • Side ropes should be made of manila or other material of equivalent strength, durability, elongation characteristics and grip which has been protected against  degradation and is satisfactory to the Administration
  •  Each pair of side ropes should be secured together both above and below each step with a mechanical clamping device properly designed for this purpose, or seizing method with step fixtures (chocks or widgets), which holds each step level when the ladder is hanging freely. The preferred method is seizing

 

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Pilot boarding- The SOLAS requirements

​This  exploration of SOLAS V will not attempt to follow any order. Bypassing all the earlier Regulations, I will jump straight into Regulation 23, pilot transfer arrangements.

Southampton Pilot Boat-Navsregs

Regulation 23 – Pilot Transfer Arrangements- A Handy Revision Guide

This post contains some of the key facts from SOLAS covering pilot boarding arrangements, and includes information on how and where a pilot ladder should be rigged.

Which ships must comply with the pilot boarding regulations?

Ships engaged on voyages in the course of which pilots may be employed.

Equipment and arrangements for pilot transfer which are provided on ships before 1 July 2012 shall at least comply with the requirements of regulations in SOLAS 1974, in force prior to that date.

What are the requirements of pilot transfer arrangements?

PilotName

  • All arrangements used for pilot transfer shall efficiently fulfil their purpose of enabling pilots to embark and disembark safely
  • The appliances shall be kept clean, properly maintained and stowed , and shall be regularly inspected
  • The appliances shall be used solely for the embarkation and disembarkation of personnel.
  • An accommodation ladder shall be used in conjunction with the pilot ladder, or other equally safe and convenient means, whenever the distance from the surface of the water to the point of access to the ship is more than 9 m.

Note: Mechanical pilot hoists shall not be used.

The rigging of pilot transfer arrangements

  • The rigging of the pilot transfer arrangements, and the embarkation of a pilot shall be supervised by a responsible officer having means of communication with the bridge.
  • The responsible officer who shall also arrange for the escort of the pilot by a safe route to and from the  bridge.
  • Personnel engaged in rigging and operating any mechanical equipment shall be instructed in the safe procedures to be adopted, and the equipment shall be tested prior to use.

 

Certification, marking and record keeping

  •  A pilot ladder shall be certified by the manufacturer as complying with SOLAS, or with an international standard acceptable to the Organization
  • All pilot ladders shall be clearly identified with tags or other permanent marking so as to enable identification of each appliance
  • A record shall be kept on the ship as to the date an identified ladder is placed into service and any repairs conducted

Pilot boat bow

Where should the pilot transfer arrangements be located?

Arrangements should enable the pilot to embark and disembark safely on either side of the ship.

Pilot ladders

Maximum 9 metres- the distance to remember

  • A pilot ladder must require a  climb of not less than 1.5 m and not more than 9 m above the surface of the water
  • It must be  is clear of any possible discharges from the ship
  • It  is within the parallel body length of the ship and, as far as is practicable, within the mid-ship half length of the ship
  • Each step must rest firmly against the ship’s side. Where constructional features would prevent this, special arrangements shall, to the satisfaction of the Administration, be made to ensure that persons are able to embark and disembark safely
  • The single length of pilot ladder is capable of reaching the water and allowance is made for all conditions of loading and trim of the ship, and for an adverse list of 15°

When accommodation ladders are used in conjunction with pilot ladders

  •  The accommodation ladder shall be sited leading aft
  •  Means shall be provided to secure the lower platform of the accommodation ladder firmly to the ship’s side
  • The lower end of the accommodation ladder is to be within within the parallel body length of the ship and, as far as is practicable, within the mid-ship half length
  • The lower end of the accommodation ladder is to be  clear of all discharges
  • Means shall be provided to secure the pilot ladder and manropes to the ship’s side at a point of nominally 1.5 m above the bottom platform of the accommodation ladder
  • When there is a trapdoor in the bottom platform, the pilot ladder and man ropes shall be rigged through the trapdoor  extending above the platform to the height of the handrail

What are the requirements for access to the ship’s deck?

See MSC 1428 for poster

  • There must be safe, convenient and unobstructed passage between the head of the pilot ladder, or of any accommodation ladder or other appliance, and the ship’s deck.
  • When a gateway in the rails or bulwark is used, adequate handholds shall be provided
  • When a bulwark ladder is used, two handhold stanchions rigidly secured to the ship’s structure at or near their bases and at higher points shall be fitted
  • A bulwark ladder shall be securely attached to the ship to prevent overturning

Shipside doors

Shipside doors used for pilot transfer shall not open outwards.

Equipment required at the pilot boarding location

The following associated equipment shall be kept at hand ready for immediate use when persons are being transferred:

  • Two man-ropes of not less than 28 mm and not more than 32 mm in diameter. The man-ropes shall be fixed at the rope end to the ring plate fixed on deck and shall be ready for use when required by the pilot.
  • A lifebuoy equipped with a self-igniting light
  • A heaving line
  •  When required, stanchions and bulwark ladders
  • Adequate lighting to illuminate the transfer arrangements overside and the position on deck where a person embarks or disembarks.

Some sources of useful information


A Really Handy Book to Learn the Collision Regulations

Amongst Navsbooks study guides for Kindle readers is this handy guide to revise the COLREGS.

Click here to download a sample from Amazon> 

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The Safety of Navigation- what is in SOLAS Chapter V?

After many months of exploring ship Certification this blog will now return to some bridge watch keeping related topics. So for those studying for officer of the watch, Mates, and Masters this will be well worth following. For those studying for engineering tickets the keep an eye on the topics for I am sure I will wander off into non-navigation subjects along the way.


Why is SOLAS V  a ‘must read’ for bridge watchkeepers?

If you are a bridge watchkeeper and have the time to read any one part of SOLAS, then this chapter should be it. Within its many regulations are many directly relevant to the keeping of a safe navigational watch.

The chapter is even more useful when used as a starting point for further study; as a framework to hang other knowledge on.

This series of posts will do just that, use some of the more important regulations as a starting point of an exploration of The Safety of Navigation.

What ships does SOLAS V apply to?

The chapter applies to all ships on all voyages, except:

  • Warships, naval auxiliaries and other ships owned or operated by a Contracting Government and used only on government non-commercial service. However, such vessels are  encouraged to act in a manner consistent, so far as reasonable and practicable, with the chapter.
  • Vessels in the Great Lakes and connected waters when navigating west of Quebec.

Flag states can decide how much of the chapter applies to the following vesses:

  • Ships operating solely in waters landward of the baselines which are established in accordance with international law.
  • Ships below 150 gross tonnage engaged on any voyage
  • Ships below 500 gross tonnage not engaged on international voyages
  • Fishing vessels

Click here for the UK MCA guidance on Chapter V>

The contents of SOLAS Chapter V

The Regulations

  • Regulation 1 -Application
  • Regulation 2 -Definitions
  • Regulation 3 -Exemptions and Equivalents
  • Regulation 4 -Navigational Warnings
  • Regulation 5 -Meteorological services and warnings
  • Regulation 6 -Ice Patrol Service
  • Regulation 7 -Search and rescue services
  • Regulation 8 -Life-saving signals
  • Regulation 9 -Hydrographic Services
  • Regulation 10 -Ships’ Routeing
  • Regulation 11 -Ship Reporting Systems
  • Regulation 12 -Vessel Traffic Services
  • Regulation 13 -Establishment and operation of aids to navigation
  • Regulation 14 -Ships’ manning
  • Regulation 15 -Principles relating to bridge design, design and arrangement of navigational systems and equipment and bridge procedures
  • Regulation 16 -Maintenance of Equipment
  • Regulation 17 -Electromagnetic compatibility
  • Regulation 18 -Approval, surveys and performance standards of navigational systems and equipment and voyage data recorder
  • Regulation 19 -Carriage requirements for shipborne navigational systems and equipment
  • Regulation 19-1 -Long Range Identification and Tracking of Ships
  • Regulation 20 -Voyage data recorders
  • Regulation 21 -International Code of Signals
  • Regulation 22 -Navigation bridge visibility
  • Regulation 23 -Pilot transfer arrangements
  • Regulation 24 -Use of heading and/or track control systems
  • Regulation 25 -Operation of main source of electrical power and steering gear
  • Regulation 26 -Steering gear: Testing and drills
  • Regulation 27 -Nautical charts and nautical publications
  • Regulation 28-Records of navigational activities and daily reporting
  • Regulation 29 -Life-saving signals to be used by ships, aircraft or persons in distress
  • Regulation 30 -Operational limitations
  • Regulation 31 -Danger Messages
  • Regulation 32 -Information required in danger messages
  • Regulation 33 -Distress Situations: Obligations and procedures
  • Regulation 34 -Safe navigation and avoidance of dangerous situations
  • Regulation 34-1 -Master’s Discretion
  • Regulation 35 -Misuse of distress signals


The Really Handy Study Guides

Navsregs publishes a range of revision guides for Mariners..

These are all available in the Kindle Format, and cover the Collision Regulations, semananship and Certification.

Click here to learn more>

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