Electronic Navigation: Improved Training and Auditing Will Enhance Navigation Safety
The solution is always more training. Especially if you run a training facility.
Yeah, but considering the rate of rise in AIS assisted collisions, this is probably a good thing.
I gotta admit that I only know enough to know I don’t know enough, so I pretty much don’t touch the ECDIS. Unfortunately, there are probably a whole bunch of bells and whistles that would help me stand a better watch, but I’m too scared to punch most of the buttons.
[quote=Capt. Fran;15318]Yeah, but considering the rate of rise in AIS assisted collisions, this is probably a good thing.
I gotta admit that I only know enough to know I don’t know enough, so I pretty much don’t touch the ECDIS. Unfortunately, there are probably a whole bunch of bells and whistles that would help me stand a better watch, but I’m too scared to punch most of the buttons.[/quote]
I couldn’t agree more, Skipper. More technology requires more training requires more technology requires more training…
I believe there comes a point of diminishing returns, where the technology is so complex that the better way to perform a task, navigate or avoid a collision is the tried and true way: Eyes, ears and experience.
Technology is good to a point. It can’t replace human judgement and reasoning.
I’m waiting for Allwyn to chime in about how unnecessary Captains are, what with all of the gadgets available to engineers.
Well, I don’t know…engineers can draw straight lines, and all you have to do is follow that straight line on the ECDIS, so maybe Allwyn has a point…
But I think the ECDIS class would be extremely helpful - I never took one in school, simply because they didn’t offer it, and all I’ve learned on an ECDIS I’ve learned by playing with one. I figure, how bad can I really break it? When it comes down to it, it’s only a computer program, and when they break, just restart the damn thing. Although I do have to say it’s tough going between different manufacturers - the differences between Kelvin Hughes and Transas equipment is like night and day - and each have their own pros and cons.
Great! Lets Get Started!
WRT to this electronic navigation equipment and Allwyn ideas, he has a kindred spirit: 14 years ago the Navy started combining job ratings, one move was to replace Quartermasters on submarines with Electronic Techs. Forget the dabate about if it’s a good idea or not, it was done because they wanted ETs operating the navigation gear and it was clear lots of new more advanced gear was coming down the pike. They had both Nav ETs and QMs and in an effort to crosstrain the two, they thought it was most valuable to combine and all to be ET’s.
I got out just as this was going down, I missed having to become an ET by the skin of my teeth.
Can’t blame you for that Fran, it reminds me of the button on the bridge of one ship i was on. It had a sign “never touch this button” but no one knew what it did. Also on the bridge was a really big fire alarm bell that never worked… we just assumed someone disconnected it because it was too loud.
So after 3 years onboard and during a particularly boring watch I pressed it. Well I soon found out why you should never touch that button… it sounded the big alarm bell 5 feet away.
In removing the bell we found a reference number and were able to look it up in the ship’s archives, where we found a note saying “ABS inspector insisted that every manned space on the vessel have a fire call box that sounds an alarm on the bridge.”
Yeah, there just aren’t enough alarms on the bridge, are there?
My favorite button on the bridge was the one labeled “For use when Navigating in Ice.” Now, this was an Ice Class tanker, and we had a big ass “Ice Light” that had a focus beam of 4 miles or some ridiculous range, so I, and most onboard, simply assumed that was the lightswitch. But, I was told not to press it, so I didn’t.
Turns out that that button had nothing to do with the ice light - it made the engine turn 125 RPM’s (we ran at about 105) to push the ship [U]through[/U] ice. We tried it once - the engineers freaked, and then we put a cover over that button.
It has been my experience that the only way to learn a piece of new electronic equipment is to start pushing buttons and see what happens. When things get so f#*%'d up that you can’t go any further, pull out the operator’s manual! By the time you get everything straightened out you should have a pretty good idea how the piece of equipment works.
[QUOTE=john;15358]…during a particularly boring watch I pressed it. Well I soon found out why you should never touch that button… it sounded the big alarm bell 5 feet away.[/QUOTE]
I can’t decide which is funnier. My imagination of what the expression was on your face after that alarm when off, or the fact that some idiotic ABS guy thinks that you need to be able to sound an alarm in the bridge to make sure the alarm sounds on the bridge.