ECDIS operating anomalies – guidance issued by Sub-Committee
Guidance to mariners on dealing with operating anomalies, which have been identified in some Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS), has been issued by the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV), which met for its 58th session from 2 to 6 July, 2012.
The Sub-Committee approved a Safety of Navigation Circular (SN.1/Circ. 312) on Operating anomalies within ECDIS, which highlights the importance of maintaining ECDIS software to ensure that operational capability and reliability are maintained, and that appropriate checks are made with the equipment manufacturer.
The circular includes a list of the known anomalies with advice, and information on whether or not the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) ECDIS Data Presentation and Performance Check (DPPC) dataset checks for each anomaly.
An ECDIS anomaly is an unexpected or unintended behaviour of an ECDIS unit which may affect the use of the equipment or navigational decisions made by the user. Examples of those which have been identified include, but are not limited to:
• failure to display a navigational feature correctly, such as: navigation areas recently recognized by IMO such as PSSA (Particularly Sensitive Sea Area) and ASL (Archipelagic Sea Lanes);
• lights with complex characteristics;
• underwater features and isolated dangers;
• failure to detect objects by "route checking" in voyage planning mode;
• failure to alarm correctly; and
• failure to manage a number of alarms correctly.
Routeing of ships, ship reporting and other relevant measures
The Sub-Committee approved the following new and amended ships' routeing measures, for submission to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) for adoption:
Traffic separation schemes (TSSs)
• Amendments to the existing Traffic Separation Scheme ""Off Texel" (Netherlands);
• Amendments to the existing Traffic Separation Scheme "Off Ushant" (France);
• Amendments to the existing TSS "Off San Francisco", to decrease the co-occurrence of commercial vessels and endangered blue, fin and humpback whales (United States);
• Amendments to the existing TSS "In the Santa Barbara Channel", to reduce the likelihood of ship strike deaths and serious injuries to blue whales and other whales (United States);
• Amendments to the existing TSS "In the Approaches to Los Angeles – Long Beach", to significantly reduce the likelihood of ship strike deaths and serious injuries to blue whales and other whales (United States).
Routeing measures other than Traffic Separation Schemes
• Establishment of two new precautionary areas and an Area To Be Avoided (ATBA) as part of establishing a new routeing system "In the approaches to IJmuiden" (Netherlands);
• Amendments to the existing "Deep-water route leading to IJmuiden" (Netherlands);
• Establishment of a new precautionary area, a new recommended route and a new Area To Be Avoided (ATBA) as part of establishing a new routeing system in the area "West of Rijnveld" (Netherlands);
• Amendments to the existing routeing measures other than traffic separation schemes, as part of the revision of the routeing system "In the Approaches to Hook of Holland and at North Hinder" (Belgium, Netherlands);
• Amendments to the existing Deep water route leading to Europoort, as part of the revision of the routeing system "In the Approaches to Hook of Holland and at North Hinder" (Belgium, Netherlands);
• Revocation of the existing Deep-water route inside the borders of the Traffic Separation Schemes from Gogland Island to Rodsher Island (Russian Federation);
• Establishment of new recommended tracks and traffic separation line between the Traffic Separation Schemes "Off Rodsher Island" and "Off Gogland Island" (Russian Federation);
• Establishment of a new recommendatory Area To Be Avoided (ATBA) off the Ningaloo Coast, Western Australia, which had been listed as UNESCO's World Heritage region since 2011, with a view to mitigating risk created by increasing shipping activity;
• Establishment of two new Areas To Be Avoided (ATBA), in Brazil's Espírito Santo Basin region, in order to improve the safety of navigation and that of the offshore activities in the vicinity of Golfinho and Jubarte Fields;
• Recommendatory measure for vessels crossing the Traffic Separation Scheme and Precautionary Areas in the Singapore Strait during hours of darkness.
Mandatory ship reporting system
• Establishment of a new mandatory ship reporting system "In the Barents Area (Barents SRS)" (Norway and the Russian Federation).
Associated Protective Measures (APMs)
• Establishment of a new mandatory No Anchoring Area for all ships and a new Area To Be Avoided (ATBA) for ships 300 GT or over in Saba Bank (Netherlands). (The designation of the Saba Bank, off the Caribbean island of Saba as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) was approved in principle by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) at its 62nd session, with a view to final designation at MEPC 64, pending the approval of associated protective measures.)
Draft performance standards for electronic inclinometers agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a draft MSC resolution on performance standards for Electronic Inclinometers, for any advice on appropriate criteria for alarming functionality of inclinometers by the Sub-Committee on Stability, Load Lines and /fishing Vessel Safety (SLF) and submission to the MSC for adoption next year.
Electronic inclinometers are intended to support the decision-making process on board in order to avoid dangerous situations as well as assist in and facilitate maritime casualty investigation by providing information about the roll period and the heel angle of the ship.
The performance standards state that electronic inclinometers should, in a reliable form:
• determine the actual heel angle with the required accuracy;
• determine the roll amplitude with the required accuracy;
• determine the roll period with the required accuracy;
• present the information on a bridge display; and
• provide a standardized interface to instantaneous heel angle to the VDR.
Development of an e-navigation strategy implementation plan
The Sub-Committee made further progress in the development of the e-navigation strategy implementation plan, which aims to integrate existing and new navigational tools, in particular electronic tools, in an all-embracing transparent, user-friendly, cost-effective and compatible system that will contribute to enhanced navigational safety (with all the positive repercussions this will have on maritime safety overall and environmental protection) while simultaneously reducing the burden on the navigator.
The Sub-Committee completed the gap analysis, approved the final list of gaps and endorsed the preliminary list of potential e-navigation solutions, the methodology of the Human Element Analysing Process, the procedure for the Formal Safety Assessment methodology and the further development of Maritime Service Portfolios (which define and describe the set of operational and technical services and their level of service provided by a stakeholder in a given sea area, waterway, or port, as appropriate).
Potential solutions to address the identified gaps include those relating to:
• improved, harmonized and user-friendly bridge design;
• means for standardized and automated reporting;
• improved reliability, resilience and integrity of bridge equipment and navigation information; integration and presentation of available information in graphical displays received via communication equipment;
• information management Improved access to relevant information for search and rescue; improved reliability, resilience and integrity of bridge equipment and navigation information for shore-based users;
• improved and harmonized shore-based systems and services;
• improved communication of vessel traffic services (VTS) service portfolio.
The Correspondence Group on e-navigation was re-established to further the work.
The e-navigation concept is being developed in cooperation with the Sub-Committees on Radiocommunications, Search and Rescue (COMSAR) and Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW)).
Unified interpretation related to navigation bridge visibility agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a draft revised MSC.1/Circ.1350 on Unified Interpretations of SOLAS regulation V/22.1.6 relating to navigation bridge visibility, to include a new paragraph covering the use of a remote camera system as means for achieving the view of the ship's side from the bridge wing.
Development of policy and new symbols for AIS aids to navigation
The Sub-Committee agreed on the revised draft text of the policy on use of Aids to Navigation and re-established the Correspondence Group to further review and finalize it at the next session.