[QUOTE=captbbrucato;57492][I][B]"All vessel dimensions are to be in meters and are to be for the ‘TUG ALONE’. At this time ATB’s are not permitted to include the length of the barge in their calculations. The USCG agrees that for safety it should be included but we are prevented from including it due to the current regulations regarding AIS. "[/B][/I]
FWIW we just received this notice that we’ll have to comply with the [B]information regarding LOA[/B] transmitted by AIS [B]must reflect the tug only.[/B] It’s amazing that common sense doesn’t have a place in the regulatory world. Even though there are USCG personnel who readily agree it would be safer, the rules don’t allow us to transmit our true length overall, where is the logic in that? How about a judgement call from the MSO/Commandant, give us a policy letter that would allow us to protect ourselves from ugly surprises when meeting a tow well in excess of its broadcast LOA? Too much to ask?[/QUOTE]
[B]The logic is in previous post…If you are running light tug, for example, you don’t want anyone in traffic ‘reading’ you as a tug/tow. Although lighting arrangement’s, radio communications etc. should verify. The “type of ship and cargo” is a numeric code ( IMO SOLAS or 46 U.S.C. 2101 ). For example you are actually engaged in towing and length of
the tow exceeds 200 meters (656 ft) or breadth exceeds 25 meters.[B] The up shot is, [U]you are transmitting that you are a tug, but code better reflects your configuration[/U][/B].
As for vessels that different, or not up to date destinations for example, Doug is right. “AIS programming decisions based on prudent seamanship…” you got it, not everyone will participate in taking time to keep everything up until it is mandated. After all, if the captain/crew/company care, it reflects. [/B]
[B]Yes it would make better “sense” to relay the overall dimensions, but not all crews, again, keep that “up to date”… You can find vessels with destinations from 4 ports ago… and say your ATB docks at berth #xxx and you run light tug only to another dock, (to get stores, water etc.) you are still reflecting you overall dimensions"
That was just example, but there are many instances where “dammit - lets have it one way or another” I totally agree, but in the instance of protect ourselves from ugly surprises when meeting a tow well in excess of its broadcast LOA someone “well” in excess" should be identified way prior, I don’t think you will find a Commando decision soon, like channel markers for instance, they go out, but you still have backup of charts. AIS are not that reliable now, In my opinion to be considered more than an “aid”…
So yes in common sense it would be safer ? If everyone agrees, then they should start by voluntarily keeping it up and continuously accurate for now. Habits are not arbitrary decisions, there a repeated practice. But if your not in the “habit” ( or mandated ) people forget, and unfortunately that will always happen at the wrong time.[/B]