We have radar overlay on the ECDIS on my Ferry.
Radar overlay on an ECS, if not an actual ECDIS, should be required on all commercial vessels.
The Rosepoint Coastal Explorer ECS program only costs $350. The US charts can be downloaded and updated for free. It runs fine on a $1500 computer. There is no excuse, except totally incompetent management, for a commercial vessel not to have this. I’m not sure what the cheapest radar with ecs overlay capability costs, but it’s probably under $3000. Again, there is no good excuse for not equipping a commercial vessel with this.
The really excellent Furuno 8000 series radars with an ARPA card and ECS compatibility cost about $20,000. That’s not much money for a vessel with a $3000 a day crew cost and that burns $8000 in fuel a day. No excuse for not having a good radar.
Not to mention the cost of having an accident because of outdated equipment, or lack of training for the people operating the vessel. It is being “penny wise, dollar foolish”.
For ferry companies especially, it is also a question of their reputation among their passenger base.
You just wouldn’t believe what a pile of old outdated shit we have to work with on the typical tugboat in America.
No joke. Even on a lot of newer tugs, the technology isn’t up to date.
Steamship couldn’t give two shits about reputation. They are state subsided and the one competing company not only has to cap their passenger counts, but also has to send a portion of their sales to them.
The local papers covered this quite a bit and the captian is being sent to a BRM class and likely won’t be put back on the high speed boat. The “pilot” was a part time retired guy and likely won’t work for them anymore.
Even if they didn’t have ECS or ECDIS, the boat has a GPS. You can plug in waypoints into the cheapest of GPS’s and follow a route. A waypoint just west of R “4” to line up with the entrance would have shown the operator that he was steering into danger.
Obviously, the guy also forgot about Rule 6, Safe Speed:
"Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions…(b) Additionally, by vessels with operational radar: (i) the characteristics, efficiency and limitations of the radar equipment; (iii) the effect on radar detection of the sea state, weather and other sources of interference; "
While a route in the gps would be better than nothing , I’m not sure if it would be helpful enough when making a turn at that speed. The gps might be more of a distraction than an asset at that speed.
No excuse for not having an ECS running.
When routinely operating at those speeds in restricted visibility — no excuse for not having the best of everything. If they did not have an esc with radar overlay, that is a shoreside management failure.
Yes indeed a shoreside failure if so, but you also need to operate your vessel within the limits of your equipment. And at least most of the time when it comes to accidents, “Speed Kills.”
There may be some circumstances, especially on high speed vessels with eyes well ahead of the vessel, that high speed may be warranted, but most of the time, “Speed Kills.”
It’s not possible to operate at that speed in real restricted visibility while simultaneously meeting all of the known navigation safety standards & considerations, no matter how good the equipment or the operators.
Speed kills, so sometimes you just have to slow the hell down. They didn’t and, although they may have gotten away with it every other time under similar conditions, luck deserted them on this occasion.
Reducing speed is so fundamental to operating in restricted visibility, especially in or near a channel/traffic/obstructions (actual or potential) that it shouldn’t have to be said. But obviously it does.
Oh, I agree with you. However, it’s obvious that neither the management of the ferry nor the crew onboard agree with us.