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Shipowners and managers should improve ECDIS and electronic chart update management to reduce the risk of negative findings during ship inspections.

A new report from a major ship insurance club and consultancy firm provides owners with guidance on how to improve navigational safety and reduce port inspection issues.

London P&I Club joined forces with London Offshore Consultants to produce a guide to managing ECDIS and electronic navigational charts (ENCs).

This was written in response to an increasing number of negative findings recorded by the club during ship inspections which are attributable to how the introduction of ECDIS on ships is being managed.

London P&I Club noted that the more common failings identified included a lack of:

  • ECDIS content in the watch handover checklist.
  • Familiarity on behalf of bridge-watchkeeping officers with the manual position-fixing method.
  • GPS position cross-checking.
  • Understanding of safely applying deep-contour, safety-depth, shallow contour and safety contour.
  • Revisions to a ship’s safety management system to include ECDIS procedures.

ECDIS and ENCs are important onboard navigational tools that, when well-managed and in the hands of well-trained and motivated users, enhance navigational safety.

However, London P&I Club said “managers should ensure the users of such systems, while potentially experienced navigators, are able to apply vital navigation skills such as manual position-fixing and parallel indexing in the ECDIS environment.”

It warned shipowners and managers not to assume experienced navigators would be familiar with the onboard ECDIS.

“The importance of type-specific quality training cannot be overstated in ensuring staff can perform their fundamental navigational tasks,” said London P&I Club.

It also warned navigators about the risks of relying too much on ECDIS and GPS positioning. Instead navigators should be encouraged to cross-reference the satellite-derived position with visual and radar fixes. It also highlighted how ENCs need to be…(Read More) Source: http://www.marinemec.com/news/view,improve-ecdis-management-to-reduce-port-inspection-issues_55688.htm